Attica Prison Riot – Dale’s Daily Data
It was the bloodiest prison uprising in American history, it happened right here in Western New York and
politics played a role. It happened on the fourth day of the Attica Prison riot in 1971. Governor Nelson Rockefeller ordered that the prison be retaken by force after several days of negotiations broke down. Rockefeller was a potential presidential candidate but some considered him soft on crime, so here was a chance to change that perception.
A group of inmates assaulted a guard, took hostages and took over a section of the prison demanding better living conditions. After talks got nowhere state police stormed the prison and opened fire. When it was
over 29 inmates and 10 hostages were dead. Another 80 were seriously hurt.
60 inmates were indicted as a result. 8 were convicted.
There were accusations that after the riot, guards brutalized the inmates, denied them medical treatment for hours.
Nearly 30 years later a federal judge decided the way troopers retook the prison was improper and ordered New York State to pay $8-million in compensation to the surviving inmates.
Five years after that, surviving hostages and the families of the hostages that were killed were compensated. Interesting that the inmates were taken care of first – huh?