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