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:

Friday, July 26, 2002

Attica Task Force resumes hearings on July 30-31 in Albany

Governor Pataki's Attica Task Force has scheduled a two-day hearing in Albany next week to continue to hear the testimony of the victims and survivors of the 1971 Attica riot that took the lives of 11 prison employees.

The hearings will resume from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Tuesday, July 30, and from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Wednesday, July 31. The hearings will be held in Hearing Room A of the Legislative Office Building across from the Capitol on State Street in Albany. The next hearings are scheduled for August 12-13 in Rochester.

The initial hearings we held May 9-10 in Rochester were as informative for the Task Force members as I believe they were cathartic for the victims and survivors who testified," said the Task Force chairman, Commissioner Glenn S. Goord of the Department of Correctional Services. The bi-partisan Task Force also includes Senate Codes Committee Chairman Dale M. Volker, R-Depew, and Deputy Assembly Speaker Arthur O. Eve, D-Buffalo. Serving as an ex offico member of the panel is Assembly Correction Committee Chairman Jeffrion L. Aubry, D-Queens.

"These hearings represent the first opportunity the Attica victims and survivors have had to be heard by the state. Their dramatic and brave, personal testimony before this Task Force represents the first time that many of them have spoken publicly about the effects the riot and its aftermath had on them and their loved ones," Commissioner Goord said. "They have Governor Pataki to thank for providing them with this historic opportunity to address the concerns of Attica survivors and victims."

Governor Pataki announced the formation of the bi-partisan, joint Task Force on March 13, 2001, to review issues raised by the Forgotten Victims of Attica and all the other victims and survivors of the riot that also saw 33 employees injured.

The main issues raised by the Forgotten Victims, which the Task Force has asked each speaker to offer their opinions on, are compensation for their losses, counseling services as necessary, a state apology, the right to hold an annual memorial service at the memorial in front of the prison and the opening of all records relating to the riot.

In announcing the formation of the Task Force, Governor Pataki said, "The tragedy that occurred 30 years ago at Attica had a profound and enduring impact on the families of the officers 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 in helping us to address those concerns."