Pub. date: 2005 | Online Pub. Date: September 15, 2007 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412952514 | Print ISBN: 9780761927310 | Online ISBN: 9781412952514| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Attica Correctional Facility
Stephen C. Light
Attica Correctional Facility, a maximum-security state prison for male inmates, is located in rural upstate New York, not far from the city of Buffalo. Opened in 1931, Attica is best known for the September 1971 riot that resulted in the death of three prisoners and one correctional officer, and more important for the forcible retaking of the prison in which state law enforcement officers caused the deaths of 10 employee hostages—6 of whom were correctional officers—and 29 inmates. The Attica riot was a crucial event in U.S. penal history for three reasons. First, the reform efforts by prisoners, many of which were later implemented by correctional officials nationwide, led to significant changes in ideas about prison management and prisoner rights. Second, the massive use of force by the state in retaking the prison was an exceptional show of strength and brutality that revealed the stark power relations underlying corrections in ...