Often associated with seizure of control, violence, prison riots are extreme ways in which prison inmates voice their grievances against prison administrators, authorities. Prisoners resort to such manner when they believe that only a defiance or disorder can get their unfair condition noticed by public and government. Some of the riots in the history have made correction practitioners take measures to prevent any such activity from occurring.
Let’s have a look at five of the biggest prison rites:
New Mexico Penitentiary Riot
The New Mexico Penitentiary Riot, which took place on February 2 and February 3, 1980, in the state’s maximum security prison south of Santa Fe, was one of the most violent prison riots in the history of the American correctional system: 33 inmates died and more than 200 inmates were treated for injuries. None of the 12 officers taken hostage were killed, but seven were treated for injuries caused by beatings and rapes.
Ashwell Prison Riot
Hundreds of prisoners went on the rampage in Ashwell Prison at Oakham, Rutland in Britain’s worst jail riot for nearly 20 years. More than 400 inmates broke out of their cells and set fire to jail buildings. Several prisoners smashed their way out into the prison grounds, but none are believed to have escaped. The trouble started when officers found an inmate drunk on hooch – potent alcohol brewed by prisoners – wandering in the grounds.
Attica Correctional Facility Riot
The four-day revolt at the maximum-security Attica Correctional Facility near Buffalo, New York, in year 1971 is one of the worst riots in past. Ended when hundreds of state police officers storm the complex in a hail of gunfire. Thirty-nine people were killed in the disastrous assault, including 29 prisoners and 10 prison guards and employees held hostage since the outset of the ordeal.
São Paulo prison Riot
One of the deadliest episodes in recent decades took place in 1992 in São Paulo, Brazil, where 111 prisoners were killed as authorities sought to put down an uprising. Human-rights groups accused corrections officers of shooting inmates indiscriminately, even those who had surrendered. A Brazilian police colonel was sentenced to 600 years in prison for using excessive force in retaking the facility; the conviction was later overturned.
Oklahoma State Prison Riot
In July 1973 the Oklahoma State Prison at McAlester erupted into one of the worst prison riots in U.S. history. Crowded conditions that led to the riot had been in place almost since the facility’s construction in 1911. Housing capacity for eleven hundred inmates was surpassed in 1920, and by 1973 the prison population exceeded twenty-two hundred. Gov. David Hall’s refusal to sign parole recommendations for drug offenders and individuals convicted of violent crimes had contributed to prison overcrowding. Ill-qualified and too few correctional officers, violence perpetrated by the “convict bosses,” and other factors also led to prisoners’ discontent.