Resource: The Attica Litigation

By: Stephen C. Light

January 1, 1995

Crime Law Soc Change

In September of 1971, twenty-nine inmates and ten prison employees were killed at New York's Attica Correctional Facility when state law enforcement agents forcibly regained control. In the two decades since, aborted attempts at criminal prosecution have been followed by a maze of civil litigation in state and federal courts as prisoners, Attica employees, and their estates have sought monetary compensation for injuries, wrongful death, and alleged violations of civil rights. This paper draws together the major litigation stemming from the 1971 Attica events and suggests some implications for law and social control.