One of the most famous prisons in the United States, Attica Correctional Facility is a prison in Attica, New York that houses many of the most dangerous prisoners in the country. Prisoners are usually sent to Attica Correctional Facility if they display dangerous or reckless behavior in other prisons that may endanger their lives or the lives of others. it is a maximum security prison, which is the highest level of security for a prison in the United States.
After Attica Correctional Facility opened in the 1930s, it became known as an extremely harsh place to be incarcerated. Living conditions were poor, and the prisoners were routinely disciplined with excessively brutal methods. After decades of such treatment, prisoners staged a riot in Attica Correctional Facility and took control over much of the prison. The riot lasted four days, and the inmates released a list of demands that would overhaul Attica Correctional Facility policy concerning the treatment of prisoners incarcerated there. While many of the demands were considered by authorities, others were ultimately denied. The riot ended when state troopers dropped tear gas on the facility and stormed the prison. Many prisoners were injured or killed, and several hostages were also shot and killed by troopers who shot blindly into the gas and smoke.
Prisoners at Attica Correctional Facility may be serving short-term sentences, or they may be in for life terms. There is no death row in Attica. The facility can house over 2000 inmates, and all inmates in the facility are males. In order to take control of hostile situations, many parts of the prison are fitted with tear gas systems that can be easily activated should inmates turn violent. Dining halls and work areas are fitted with such systems. Conditions within the prison have changed significantly since the riots, and many facilities and programs were developed after the riots to improve prisoner life and training.
Perhaps the most famous inmate to do time in Attica was David Berkowitz, more commonly known as the Son of Sam killer. Berkowitz was a serial killer who murdered six people in the 1970s. He was transferred from Attica to another prison to serve his life sentence. Attica was also home to Mark David Chapman, who committed the assassination of John Lennon in New York City. He was also sentenced to life in prison and has been denied parole many times.