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The McKay Commission

(New York State Special Commission on Attica) Hearings


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Commission Sessions and Summaries

New York City Public Hearings ~ April 17, 1972 (Morning)

PDF files:   part 1   part 2

Summaries and Witnesses:

Part 1: New York City Public Hearings, pages 1-62. This session marks the first day of hearings that were held in New York City at Channel 12/WNDT-TV 433 West 53rd Street. Mr. McKay restates the commission's aims and summarizes the events and testimony given during the first three days of testimony in Rochester, New York. Henry Rossbacher supervised interviews with corrections officers about their views of the prison and events related to the uprising. Rossbacher summarizes the characteristics of the corrections officers at Attica. He discusses their cultural backgrounds, job training, pay structure, and working conditions at Attica. David Addison was charged with the task of looking at grievances of the prisoners and the underlying conditions leading up to the Attica uprising. Based on hundreds of interviews of Attica prisoners. Addison presents an overview of the inmates views towards Attica prison and its corrections officers.

Part 2: New York City Hearings, pages 62-125. Mr. Addison continues his testimony about the opinions of prisoners regarding job placement and pay at Attica. He discusses how certain prisoner groups were discriminated against. Mr. Henderson attempts to broaden the testimony about discrimination at Attica to discrimination in general in the United States. But, Mr. McKay interrupts Henderson's arguments, and asks that the discussion return to Addison testimony. Addison discusses the lack of educational opportunities for the inmates, and he reports other grievances of the prisoners such as the use of pork products in the cafeteria and the general poor quality of prison food.

New York City Public Hearings ~ April 17, 1972 (Afternoon)

PDF files:   part 1   part 2

Summaries and Witnesses:

Part 1: New York City Public Hearings, pages 125-200. Cornell Capa, a photographer, was sent to Attica to document visually the conditions of Attica. Capa narrates his personal observations while showing his photographs to the commission. Lanny D. Boone, an inmate at Attica, is questioned by Steven Rosenfeld . Boone testifies about political activities by prisoners. In particular, he discusses a sociology class that was taught at Attica, which focused on political ideas and created a venue for prisoners to voice their opinions. Chris Mayers, an inmate at Attica, discusses his experiences at Attica in general, and what he was doing in particular the time of the prison uprising.

Part 2: New York City Public Hearings, pages 200-268. Mr. Henix continues his examination of Chris Mayers. Mayers discusses a harassment incident concerning an inmate by one of the guards. Mr. Rosenfeld shows film clips to better illustrate how the prison was taken over by the inmates. He walks the commission step by step through the process of the prisoners taking over the prison. Attica prison Sergeant, Jack English, testifies about events on September 9th.

 

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