Department of Corrections and Community Supervision

New York State
Department of Correctional Services
Glenn S. Goord, Commissioner

Office of Public Information
[518] 457-8182

For immediate release:

May 2, 2002

Attica Task Force to hear from 1971 riot victims, survivors

Governor George E. Pataki's Attica Task Force will hold public hearings on May 9-10 in Rochester to begin taking testimony from the Forgotten Victims of Attica, a group of victims and survivors of the 1971 riot that saw 11 prison employees killed and 32 injured.

Hearing from the group will be DOCS Commissioner Glenn S. Goord, the task force chairman, and task force members Senator Dale M. Volker and Deputy Assembly Speaker Arthur O. Eve. Assemblymember Jeffrion L. Aubry, chairman of the Correction Committee, will also participate. The task force formally scheduled the hearings today after state budget talks yesterday clarified that the legislators on the task force would not be expected to be in Albany next week to vote on spending bills.

The hearings will take place on the Rochester Institute of Technology campus in the Chester F. Carlson Building (building #76), Room 1125. Thursday's session will run from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Friday's from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Future hearings will be held, if necessary, to hear from those members who want to appear but are unable to attend these hearings. Those not wishing to appear publicly will be allowed to submit written testimony. The victims' group is also submitting names of non-victims whom it feels can offer testimony relevant to their areas of concern. Those persons will be considered by the task force to appear at future hearings after all members of the victims' group who wish to make statements have been heard.

The victims' group members will focus their individual testimony on their five major areas of concern: receiving an apology from the state which acknowledges its responsibility for its actions towards them and their families after the riot; the opening of the state's records concerning the riot and its aftermath; providing counseling for members of the group; establishing an annual memorial observance at the prison, and compensation as reparations for the state's actions. No time limit will be set on the length of their remarks.

Governor Pataki appointed the task force on March 13, 2001, to review issues raised by the group.

In doing so, Governor Pataki said, "The tragedy that occurred 30 years ago at Attica had a profound and enduring impact on the families of the guards and civilians who were killed or injured in the line of duty. This bi-partisan panel will provide an excellent forum for examining many of the issues that concern these families and individuals, and will provide guidance on helping us to address those concerns."

Since the appointment of the task force, it has held three preliminary meetings in Attica to seek the group's input in preparation for the upcoming hearings.