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August 15, 2011

Attica, Attica, Attica ... law conference four decades after the infamous prison riot

Attica As detailed in this official press release, next month brings a notable law conference titled "40 Years After the Attica Uprising: Looking Back, Moving Forward," which is being sponsored by the University at Buffalo Law School and its Baldy Center for Law and Social Policy. Here is more about the upcoming event:

Forty years ago, the deadliest prisoner rebellion in U.S. history occurred.  Next month, a major conference will bring together prisoner advocates, legislators, policymakers, corrections professionals, activists and people who were on the front lines of the conflict, on both sides....

The two-day event marks the anniversary of the uprising at Attica State Prison, about 40 miles east of Buffalo, that brought the world's attention to long-festering problems in the U.S. prison system. The Attica Uprising began on Sept. 9, 1971, and ended four days later when then-Gov. Nelson Rockefeller ordered state troopers to storm and retake the prison from the inmates who had taken control.  Twenty-nine prisoners and 11 security and civilian staff died.

To open the conference, the documentary "Ghosts of Attica" will be shown at the Burchfield Penny Art Center (Buffalo State College) on Sunday, Sept. 11.  Over the next two days, Sept. 12-13, conference events will be held on UB's North and South campuses and at a downtown Buffalo church.  The schedule of events is posted on the conference website.

"It's about healing, in part," says UB Law Professor Teresa A. Miller, conference organizer. "This is the last decade in which these people are going to be able to sit down together and reflect upon Attica's turbulent past.  This conference is unique in that it creates a dialog between stakeholders with diverse ideological perspectives on the Attica Uprising.  For the Buffalo community, this is one of the last opportunities to hear firsthand from people who were there."

In addition to looking back at the uprising, the conference will feature several influential policymakers, including New York State Assemblyman Jeffrion Aubrey, chair of the Committee on Corrections and a vocal advocate for prison reform.  Miller says it comes at a time when the corrections industry, an entrenched part of the state's and the nation's economy, is undergoing reconsideration.

August 15, 2011 at 07:38 PM | Permalink

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