40 Years Later, Buffalo Conference Revisits Deadly Attica Riot


Forty years after the violent uprising at Attica prison in upstate New York, organizers of a two-day conference at the University of Buffalo Law School hope that revisiting the riot can provide a roadmap for future prison reforms, reports the Rochester Democrat & Chronicle. Panels will be held Sept. 12 and 13. Police fatally shot 29 inmates and 10 hostages during the siege.

The riot erupted on Sept. 9, 1971, with prisoners gaining control of Attica — a maximum-security prison in Wyoming County — and taking hostages. Four days of negotiations ensued, but attempts to reach a peaceful end failed when State Police stormed the prison. The riot — the deadliest prison insurrection in the country’s history — sparked numerous investigations and, to this day, stands as a touchstone event in any analysis of prison conditions.

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