Some people have been handcuffed, then beaten with sticks, and the cries for help are so loud but useless, because there is no help. So our voices remain trapped behind this wall. The 1971 [Attica] riot led people across the country to hear the voice of incarcerated persons, exposing the foulness of the torture and inhumane conditions. Today, the same foulness that went on in the past is going on today. – Person incarcerated at Attica
Attica Correctional Facility continues to operate as a symbolic and real epicenter of state violence and abuse of incarcerated persons in New York State prisons. The history of the 1971 rebellion and the state’s violent suppression still infuse Attica’s walls and operations. Recent and ongoing investigations of Attica by the Correctional Association reveal systemic and brutal staff-inflicted physical assaults, verbal and racial harassment, threats, intimidation, and excessive use of punishment and solitary confinement. An underlying culture and environment of abuse – not a few individual bad actors – drive the dehumanization and brutalization taking place. This culture is undergirded and fueled by racism, staff impunity, a lack of meaningful programs, a history of violent repression and a reliance on force, punishment, and disempowerment.
The abuses taking place behind Attica’s walls are an affront to humanity and nothing short of closing the prison will end them. At the same time that Attica must be closed, staff violence and abuse must end across all New York State prisons. Similar levels of racist brutality take place at Clinton, Great Meadow, Greene, and elsewhere, and permeate the entire state prison system. DOCCS, state policy-makers, and the public must work toward a fundamental transformation of the culture and environment of punishment and violence at other prisons so long as they exist, and ultimately an end of mass incarceration. Brutality, punishment, and abuse must be replaced with transformative practices, communication, de-escalation, empowerment, healing, growth, and mutual respect.
The CA is part of a campaign to close Attica and end violence and abuse across all New York State prisons. This campaign meets the second Monday of every month at the Correctional Association (2090 Adam Clayton Powell, Suite 200). This is a new campaign, led by people who have been incarcerated in these violent prisons and their family members. We need you to join us! Together, we can end the brutality and abuse behind the walls.
News | November 1, 2011
Utilizing our unique privilege to monitor prisons, the CA’s Prison Visiting Project traveled to the notorious Attica Correctional Facility in April 2011 to assess conditions and services for incarcerated people.Read More
News | September 1, 2011
After forty years, Attica Correctional Facility has failed to evolve into a safe place for incarcerated individuals. Improvements found by our Prison Visiting Project on their April visit to the facility, while encouraging, were grossly overshadowed by serious concerns for the safety and well-being of the people imprisoned there.
Four decades since the Attica uprising, the fundamental flaw at the facility continues to be poor incarcerated individuals-staff relations.Read More
News | September 1, 2011
The deadliest prison unrest in our nation’s history, the 1971 Attica uprising brought the plight of the incarcerated to the forefront of our nation’s consciousness.Read More
CA in the Press | December 26, 2010
The top three for suicides - Elmira, Clinton and Attica - were also among the 10 prisons with the highest number of mentally ill inmates in 2009, prison statistics show, a population considered to have a high suicide risk.Read More
CA in the Press | March 13, 2009
The Correctional Association of New York (CA), the state's oldest criminal justice organization, released today Healthcare in New York Prisons, 2004-2007, the most comprehensive report ever produced evaluating medical care within New York's Department of Correctional Services (DOCS) prisons. Read More
CA in the Press | September 14, 2006
Thirty-five years after the Attica uprising, there is still rampant abuse of prisoners by staff at the facility.Read More
News | April 1, 2006
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In February, Prison Visiting Project Director Jack Beck and Executive Director Bob Gangi traveled to Los Angeles to attend hearings for the Commission on Safety and Abuse in America’s Prisons, a nationwide task force examining violence, abuse and harassment in prison. The Commission brought together correction officials, formerly incarcerated people, advocates and government leaders to testify about their experiences and findings.Read More