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Attica Correctional Facility: Records of Attica Inmates, the 1971 Riot, and Ensuing Investigations and Litigation

Attica Correctional Facility: Records of Attica Inmates, the 1971 Riot, and Ensuing Investigations and Litigation

Special Commission on Attica (“McKay Commission”)

15855  Investigation and interview files, 1971-1972 (94 cu. ft.)
Eight boxes contain fully disclosable records, including published materials, data on casualties, lists of law enforcement officers present, documents relating to inmates’ demands, court documents, newspaper clippings, photographs of the prison post-riot, general information on Dept. of Correctional Services and Attica C.F., etc. The remaining boxes contain records that are exempt from disclosure under the N.Y. Freedom of Information Law. Most of the exempt documents are the voluminous interview summaries; also exempt are police reports, autopsy reports, commission private hearings, draft reports, etc.

B1340  Motion picture film and videotapes of Attica Correctional Facility riot, 1971 (1 cu. ft.)
DVD copies are available for research use and reproduction.

B1341  Audio tapes and transcripts of Commission hearings, 1972 (6 cu. ft.)
The transcripts are not complete; an apparently complete set is available in the New York State Library (call no. D ATT 050-2 1972/1972B).

Office of the Governor (Executive Chamber)

13682-78  [Rockefeller] Central subject and correspondence files, 1959-1973 (520 microfilm reels)
Files include correspondence and other documents relating to the Attica Correctional Facility riot of 1971 and its aftermath. The files do not include internal memoranda or draft documents. Additional relevant records are held by the Rockefeller Archive Center, Sleepy Hollow, N.Y.

13682-83  [Carey] Central subject and correspondence files, 1975-1982 (125 microfilm reels)
Files contain documents relating to Gov. Carey’s pardon of inmates involved in the riot and his decision to drop charges against law enforcement officers. The files generally do not include internal memoranda or draft documents.

Division of State Police

22427-14 Motion picture film and videotapes, 1972-1973 (2 video tapes [VHS])
Documentary report produced by the Special Commission on Attica (“McKay Commission”) and the American Bar Association. Includes excerpts from public hearings, film clips of negotiations at Attica Correctional Facility and the retaking of the area held by inmates, commentary about those events, and post-riot video images of the facility.

22577  Publicity materials relating to the Attica Correctional Facility riot of 1971, ca. 1971-1976 (0.5 cu. ft.)
Materials document the intense publicity about the riot and its aftermath. They include news clippings, wirephoto prints and other photographs, Lexis/Nexis printouts, and copies of Gov. Carey’s press releases regarding the Attica investigations.

Department of Law (Office of Attorney General)

B1811  Attica class action litigation files, ca. 1971-2001 (53.5 cu. ft.)
Part of this series was donated to the Archives by a Buffalo law firm that represented the state in the civil litigation brought by Attica inmates in civil litigation in U.S. District Court (Western Dist. of N.Y.). Documents include copies of public court filings, trial transcripts, depositions, etc. The Dept. of Law retains a large quantity of records relating to the Attica litigation. The rest of this series consists of files of an attorney hired by the state to defend State Police personnel in the cases of Akil al-Jundi et al. v. Nelson Rockefeller et al. and Akil al-Jundi et al. v. Mancusi et al. The documents include court documents, correspondence, and photocopies of documentary evidence. Portions of the records are restricted.

Department of Correctional Services (now Corrections and Community Supervision)

14610-94B, -01  Attica Correctional Facility inmate case files [sample], [ca. 1950-1981] (132 cu. ft.)
Post-1956 prison inmate case files are being sampled for preservation in the State Archives; the sample is a 2% random sample plus certain over-sampled cases (e.g. any inmates serving life sentences). The sampled files in these two accessions presumably include some inmates who were in Attica in 1971. The inmate records are restricted by various state and federal statutes, but certain information is disclosable.

22425  Attica Task Force minutes of public hearings, 2002 (0.5 cu. ft.)
In 2001 Gov. George Pataki appointed the task force (chaired by the Commissioner of Correctional Services) to investigate issues raised by the “Forgotten Victims of Attica” (former hostages, deceased hostages’ family members, and their supporters) and make recommendations. Public hearings were held in Rochester and Albany, and these are the transcriptions of the hearing statements.

B2364  Attica Task Force draft report, 2003 (0.25 cu. ft.)
Draft report (23 pp.) discussed and made recommendations regarding various issues raised by the Forgotten Victims of Attica: compensation for Attica employee injuries and deaths, right to conduct an annual memorial service, counseling for survivors, access to Attica-related records, and a (requested) apology by the state. Apparently no final report was issued.