Prison Riots

Henry Groskinsky / Time Life Pictures / Getty

A video image of prisoners being rounded up after the fourth day of inmate rioting at the Attica Correctional Facility on May 2, 1971

Using shards of shattered glass and metal scraps as weapons, inmates at an overcrowded California prison went on an 11-hour rampage on Aug. 8, leaving some 250 people injured and a prison dormitory burned to the ground. Officials believe the riot at the California Institution for Men — the state's worst since 2006 — was fueled by racial tensions among black and Hispanic inmates. The violence came as California's prison system is adapting to a 2005 Supreme Court ruling that makes it more difficult for facilities to automatically segregate new prisoners by race, as the state had done for more than...

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