Prison Riots

1275 words 6 pages
Management positions in prisons are known to be very demanding. Correctional facilities are difficult to operate and are forced to deal with overcrowding which leads to an outnumbered staff and a continuous flow of violent and dangerous inmates. An issue that management faces is the occurrence of riots. According to, a riot is a disturbance of the public peace by three or more persons acting together in a disrupting and tumultuous manner in carrying out their private purposes. Some riots are characterized by organization and demands, others by weak and confused formation of leadership, or conflict and violence among inmates themselves. In some riots, prisoners inflict suffering on hostages, inmates treat hostages well, …show more content…
This was quickly deflated with prison officials growing intolerant of riots.
The most grotesque and violent riot took place in 1980 at New Mexico Penitentiary, where 1,136 inmates were packed into a facility made to hold 900. The riot began when inmates held five guards hostage and attained a set of keys left by a fleeing guard. The rioters released as many of their fellow inmates as they could. The rioters abused, raped, killed, and dismembered each other using blowtorches, drills, soup ladles, and anything else they could find. Rioters claimed their reasons for the riot as overcrowding, inmate discipline, improved educational services and improving food (Morris). After 36 hours, the riot ended, leaving 33 dead and over 200 injured. Another example of rioting due to poor living conditions occurred in Attica, New York. Attica was made to hold 1,200 inmates but was actually housing 2,225. The prisoners took control of the yard, two tunnels, and the central control room where they beat a guard to death. 39 guards and employees were held hostage for four day by 1,281 inmates in the exercise field called D Yard (History Channel). The inmates responded to an ultimatum after four days by putting knives to the hostage’s throats. With the public growing weary the police responded by firing 3,000 rounds into the tear gas haze; killing of the 29 inmates, 10 of the hostages and wounding 89. In the end


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