Essay on Sante Fe Prison Riot

949 Words Dec 13th, 2011 4 Pages
Luisa Sauro
September 28, 2011
Introduction to Corrections
Term Paper

New Mexico Penitentiary Riot
Santé Fe, New Mexico

The New Mexico penitentiary in south Santa Fe, New Mexico was no
stranger to violence. This penitentiary has seen two riots in its past one July 19,
1922 and the other June 15, 1953, these however were nothing in comparison to the events to come. In the early morning hours of February 2, 1980 two prisoners began what would be recorded as one of the most violent prison riots in the history of the American correctional system. 33 prisoners died, over 200 inmates were injured and 12 correction officers were taken hostage of those 12, seven were badly beaten and raped.
The causes of this riot were made
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The Governor, Bruce King was well aware of the conditions and issues of the prison and warnings of a prison riot went disregarded.
Prisoners began by taking control of south-side Dormitory E-2; within minutes the prisoners had taken four more officers in the dorm hostage, a fleeing officer left keys behind which gave the inmates complete access to the main control center, inmate cells, doors and weapons. By midafternoon violent offenders from solitary confinement had been released and the violence had gotten out of control. The prisoners had a particular area they could not access, the protective custody area, this area held the mentally ill and vulnerable inmates it included those inmates convicted of sex crimes and yes, those labeled snitches. Armed with blowtorches left by a construction crew, the inmates cut through the bars of the cells and in the early morning of February 3 began so did the brutal slaughter several inmates.
Negotiations between inmates and authorities stalled but, eventually the inmates come up with 11 demands which included basic prison conditions like overcrowding, inmate discipline, educational services and improving food. The prisoners also demanded to talk to independent federal officials and members of the news media. In exchange they released the 12 officers held hostage. Some officers were badly beaten and raped but, others were protected by other…

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