40 Years After the Attica Uprising:
Looking Back, Moving Forward

University at Buffalo Law School, The Baldy Center for Law & Social Policy
Monday, September 12 & Tuesday 13, 2011

The Uprising

Forty years ago, a prisoner rebellion at the Attica State Prison would bring to the attention of the world long-festering problems within the U.S. prison system. A tide of social changes catalyzed by the Civil Rights Movement since the 1950s pushed against a conservative prison system that continued to reflect Jim Crow Era beliefs and conditions, and accorded prisoners few rights. Politically sophisticated Black and Latino prisoners chafed under the control of exclusively White correctional officers. Cultural misunderstanding, meager educational opportunities, and poor conditions of confinement further exacerbated tensions within the prison until violence broke out On September 9, 1971. The Attica Uprising, the deadliest prison unrest in U.S. History, would end four days later after a siege by the State Police. Twenty-nine prisoners, and ten security and civilian staff died.

The Conference

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Six panels of experts represented diverse stakeholders, including:

Media Coverage