Attica Prison Riot Essay

1625 WordsDec 2, 20087 Pages
Attica Prison Riot Assignment After reading about the riot at Attica Prison I knew that it was a terrible riot where many inmates and guards were injured and over 40 were killed. I pictured the riot as one from a movie or television show where there was an uprising, a short stand still, then the police force ending it in a massacre. What the movie showed me was that this was not a movie or TV show and all the people involved, both inmate and guard, were a part of a civil war. These casualties I read about in the book weren’t just numbers but real people that if treated better could have avoided the riot all together. The Attica Prison is an old maximum security prison located in New York and housed mainly African American (54%) and Hispanic (9%) inmates that grew up in the inner cities and poorer parts of the state. The prison guards on the other hand were primarily white males from the rural parts of western New York surrounding the prison. These two groups prior to the riot clashed and racism went both ways from the staff and from the inmates. This racial tension filled the air in the overcrowded out of date prison where inmates were warehoused together in one of four cell blocks containing more than 2,200 inmates. A day before the riot at Attica word spread that inmates involved in a fight amongst each other were roughed up by prison guards later that night. This incident was the straw that broke the camels back in the inmates minds and started the riot the next day. Management could have implemented stricter rules and punishment for breaking the rules for both inmates and guards prior to the riot that may have prevented the incident in the first place. If there were better enforced rules that the guards were not to be racist against inmates or use improper force than the tension between guards and inmates would have been less and the riot could have been

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