A federal judge in Rochester, N.Y., yesterday divided a $12 million award from New York State stemming from the 1971 Attica prison riot, reports the Rochester Democrat & Chronicle. Many of the 126 claimants were part of a group called the Forgotten Victims of Attica. Individual awards will range from $4,166 to $380,000.
The Forgotten Victims group represents prison employees who were taken hostage as well as the families of men who were slain in the riot and the bloody retaking. Said U.S. District Judge Michael Telesca: “You can’t put a dollar value on heartache and pain and suffering in a situation such as this. Attica was something of epic proportions historically.” Attica was the nation’s deadliest prison uprising. In all, 43 people died, and many other inmates and hostages were injured. The riot erupted at the maximum-security prison on Sept. 9, 1971, and after a standoff of nearly five days, police stormed the prison behind a wall of deadly gunfire and regained control.