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The emergence of the "new breed" itself needs to be explained. Sometimes, however, political events and ideological commitments may compel a prison's administration to respond to an organized inmate protest with increased restrictions, coercion, and a "tightening up" of security-all in an attempt to re-establish control Ohlin, When this happens, a cycle of increasing inmate disorder and increasing reliance on coercion by the administration may develop.
One inmate was killed and 13 were injured. No inmates or hostages were killed or injured during the retaking of the institution by authorities.
The inmate administrators formally and informally influenced the staff's selection of other inmates for participation in the programs. As Garson's historical survey of prison riots makes clear, it is important to place prison disturbances within their historical context. The structure of control in the early s was vastly different than that of the late s.
Thus, the "conspiracy" explanation is contradicted by the level of disorder itself. From to latethere were three successful and three unsuccessful over-the- fence escapes from the prison; from late tothere were 36 successful and 18 unsuccessful over- the-fence escapes Office of the Attorney General, b Violence between inmates, including fist fights, sexual assaults, and stabbings, was rare at New Mexico in the early s.
The riot at the Penitentiary of New Mexico was the most brutal in U. Yet the prison was not always violent and disorderly. In45 percent of all crimes for which New Mexico prisoners were convicted were violent crimes. When a prison administration bows to pressure and grants formal or informal concessions-in effect re-establishing accommodations-order is restored. Some services, such as medical care, reportedly improved in the latter period, while others such as recreation, deteriorated. Strong inmates were induced into maintaining order because their sources of power over other inmates were connected to formally established programs and informally tolerated drug trafficking.
The riot is characterized not by inmate solidarity but by fragmentation and fighting among the inmates.
Bythe figure had dropped to 38 percent, and by it was 33 percent 6 Department of Corrections, a. Measures deed to tighten security were actually instituted inincluding formal training programs, a pass system to control inmate movement, and the placing of concertina wire on perimeter fences. The explanation of this change in the level of disorder is important for understanding the predisposing factors of the riot. The official control structure is comprised of those formal and informal relations of power and authority instituted and maintained by the administration and staff to control inmate behavior.
This, I submit, is precisely what happened at New Mexico. In the late s, however, inmate violence became commonplaces The reasons for this dramatic change in relations among inmates are the key to understanding the predisposing factors of the riot. The exact of inmates injured during the riot is not known. During the period of relative order inmate power was accommodated by the administration. Changes in relations among inmates cannot be understood without exploring the evolution of the entire organizational structure of prisons.
Prisons are relatively calm and orderly when the staff and administration use the cohesive economic and power relationships within the inmate social structure to secure compliance from inmates Sykes, studies Adult seeking sex Winston New Mexico prison riots have focused on the consequences of administrative actions which disrupt the patterns of accommodation and thus disrupt the cohesive forces in the inmate social structure Fox, ; Hartung and Floch, ; McCleery, ; Ohlin,; Sykes, Such administrative actions may result from: 1 the discovery and exposure of "corruption of authority" Sykes, ; 2 policy conflicts between competing interests associated with the prison organization Jacobs, ; Ohlin, ; or 3 a change in policies associated with changes in the prison administration Grusky, ; Jacobs, ; McCleery, ; Wilsnack, When all three conditions occur simultaneously, the disruption of cohesive forces in the inmate social structure becomes acute and in a prolonged period of conflict between the administration's control structure and the inmates' social structure.
A relaxation in security does not seem to have occurred and, therefore, is not a plausible explanation for growing disorder. This case study of the New Mexico prison offers insights into recent changes in inmate relations, insofar as the history of the New Mexico prison from to parallels the general shift in U. In the 36 hours before order was forcefully restored by the New Mexico State Police and National Guard, 33 inmates were killed by other inmates; 12 were first tortured and mutilated. Two powerful groups of inmates emerged. Clearly, a drastic change in relations among the New Mexico inmates took place between and the brutal riot.
I was a principal researcher, analyst, and writer for the investigation, which took eight months to complete The Report of the Attorney General on the February 2 and 3, Riot at the Penitentiary of New Mexico Office of the Attorney General, a, b is composed of two parts: the first part reconstructs the riot itself; the second looks at its causes. Both an official control structure and an inmate social structure contribute to the organization of prisons.
How the "new breed" was produced by the changing control structure and inmate social structure is the key to explaining the New Mexico riot. Security lapses such as open doors and grills, which allowed the riot to spread, were so common over the 10 years that guards described them as virtually "standard operating procedures" Office of the Attorney General, b: The ratio of guards to inmates was unchanged during the two periods. However, the press reported allegations of brutality in both periods Albuquerque Journal, b, c,d, d, e ; and corruption associated with heroin trafficking was more pronounced in the early s when the prison was relatively calm Office of the Attorney General, b In addition, the administrative clique, whose most important members were Warden Felix Rodriguez and Deputy Warden Horatio Herrera, also had greater power in the prison organization in the early s Albuquerque Journal, a.
These allegedly hard-to-control inmates were said to have begun entering the prison around and Adult seeking sex Winston New Mexico But this argument is weakened by the fact that crimes for which inmates were sent to the New Mexico prison became proportionately less violent as the prison itself became more violent. The New Mexico riot was proceeded by five years of relative calm followed by five years of increasing disorder. In addition, inmate leaders who, in the early s, helped maintain order the "old breed" were almost all in prison for violent crimes Office of the Attorney General, b Other studies also indicate a lack of correlation between prison violence and the entry of "violence-prone" inmates into prisons Bennett, ; Ellis et al.
Going to the yard or gym, it should be noted, became increasingly dangerous in the late s. If patterns of accommodation are not reinstituted, full-scale rioting eventually erupts. The prison in the early s was relatively calm; after it became increasingly violent and disorderly.
Inthese two of finials were respectively transferred and fired from the prison by order of Governor Jerry Apodaca in the wake of allegations of misconduct made by New Mexico Attorney General Toney Anaya The New Mexican, a, b; Office of the Attorney General, The attorney general's investigation of the prison coincided with a political dispute over promotions at the prison between this administrative clique and Governor Apodaca, who after taking office in initiated a massive reorganization of the corrections system Hart, Attorney General Anaya's allegations were never proven, but the subsequent actions by Governor Apodaca ificantly curtailed the power of this administrative clique.
If these factors were relevant, their emergence should parallel the shift from order to disorder at the prison. The Attica revolt was the ultimate expression of the politicization and solidarity among inmates in the United States in the late s and early s Atkins and Glick, ; Clark, ; Jackson, ; Pallas and Barber, ; Wicker, While there were 39 riots in U. At the time of the Attica revolt, violence was rare among inmates Adult seeking sex Winston New Mexico the Penitentiary of New Mexico, the only maximum and medium security institution for men in the state correctional system.
However, overcrowding cannot be completely discounted as a contributing factor of the New Mexico riot: it exacerbated other trends, especially in the three months prior to the riot, when inmate population suddenly increased by This argument infers that growing disorder and, eventually, the riot were a direct result of this group's miscreant behavior.
Serrill and Katel report that as many as inmates were beaten and raped; the New Mexico attorney general reports that at least 90 inmates were treated at local hospitals for overdoses of prison pharmacy drugs and for injuries sustained in fighting among inmates Office of the Attorney General, a Seven of the 12 correctional officers who were taken hostage were beaten, stabbed, or sodomized, though none were killed.
Security lapses, poor food and basic services, over-crowding, alleged conspiracies by middle level administrators, and the emergence of a "new breed" of violent and disruptive inmate were all considered during this case study as possible factors of the riot. Inmates often organize protests such as strikes to restore the privileges and rights lost with the removal of the accommodations.
The administration may try to contain the threat of more disturbances through the use of yet more coercion. Unlike the inmate revolt at Attica, New York, in which a high degree of inmate organization, solidarity, and political consciousness was evident, the New Mexico riot is notable for the fragmentation, lack of effective leadership, and disorganization apparent among the inmates.
Simultaneously, the inmate social structure fragments into small, selLprotective cliques as the cohesive forces between inmates continue to dissolve. While a new type of inmate who behaved more violently was certainly emerging in the late s, this fact alone does not adequately explain the long-term buildup to the riot.
As the cohesive relations between inmates are steadily eroded, it becomes increasingly difficult to re-establish a base upon which accommodations that might restore order can be built.
But this, I discovered, was not the case. The process is complicated by growing resentment and an escalation of mutual harassment between guards and inmates.
Roanoke Times Guards fired live ammunition to break up a fight between gangs of black and Hispanic inmates in the exercise yard of a maximum security prison Friday in Represa, Calif. The period of disorder in the late s saw this and other administrative cliques in greater disarray, not in greater control or influence over events at the prison. Participation in these programs greatly enhanced chances of parole; thus, the inmate administrators held considerable power.
The following case history of the New Mexico riot is based upon insights gathered from interviews with current and former inmates, guards, and officials during the official investigation into the riot ordered by the New Mexico Legislature. The first group included the inmate administrators of several programs initiated in These included a college program through the College of Santa Fe, a computer key punch shop, a "college prep" program Project Newgatean adult basic education program, and several "outside contact" programs.
With the continuing failure of administrative policies to restore order, a succession of administrators are brought in in a futile search for someone who can "return things to normal. These facts suggest that the so-called "new breed" is better understood as a product of internal changes within the prison itself. These inmates were described in interviews and conversations with me as "psychopathic personality types;" a few administrators even spoke of them as a new "genetic type" with violent propensities.
Probation & parole divisions
Inthe year before the riot, the population stayed near the capacity figure of Garson also found little relationship between prison overcrowding and rioting. Sykes argues that this cycle of conflict and accommodation is normal in prisons.
Deed to hold inmates, the prison housed 1, inmates at one point in Yet the highest population in the prison's history, 1, was recorded in with no increase in disorder. None of these measures curtailed the sharp increase in violence and escapes. The inmate social structure involves relations of power, status, and economic exchange between inmates Clemmer, ; Davidson, ; Sykes, ; Sykes and Messinger, These two structures are closely linked: they can either accommodate or challenge one another.