Attica Prison Riot Case Study

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The source of conflict in the Attica Prison Riot was Relative Deprivation. Relative deprivation theory states, “the primary source of the human capacity for violence is the frustration-aggression mechanism. There is a discrepancy between what people think they deserve, and what they actually think they can get” (Langdon Sources Slides, 2018). More specifically, one feels deprived relative to a reasonable standard (Pruitt & Kim, 2004).
Therefore, the Attica Riot seemed inevitable to many because the inmates believed they were denied of reasonable aspirations by the prison. They were unhappy with the harsh living conditions in the prison and the openly racist guards (Jones & Connell, 2011). These deteriorating living conditions included
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In the Attica Prison Riot, Commissioner Russell Oswald and Governor Nelson Rockefeller were the secondary parties. The prisoners constantly requested meetings with Oswald but he cancelled all of them. Also, he posed as a form of communication of what was occurring in Attica and was a point of negotiation in the conflict. On the other hand, Governor Rockefeller, did not make an appearance at the Attica prison after several requests from the prisoners, Rockefeller also is the one who decided to give the yes in the last massacre on part of the prison officials. Therefore, although Oswald and Rockefeller were not primary parties they did have a direct influence on what happened to the prisoners and the facility. Tertiary parties involve, “Observers of the conflict that may have indirect influence on the conflict as a whole or on the act ion of either of the parties” (Langdon Parties Slides, 2018). The tertiary party in the conflict was the media. The Attica prison riot received wide media attention. The prisoners were aware of news outlets who published stories on human rights, therefore, they were able to make their conditions public. Intervening parties are, “individuals or groups who are invited to or who offer their services to intervene in the conflict so as to resolve it in a …show more content…
Threats are “a message from Party announcing the intention to hurt other if other fails to comply with Party’s wishes” (Pruitt & Kim, 71). The prisoners in the Attica riot were not threatened through a clear statement, but rather it is implicit. The prisoners threatened the Attica personnel by taking hostages initially. Although the rioters did not harm the guards, the act of taking and holding hostages implied that they would hurt the hostages if their demands were not met. Secondly, when the rioters were giving speeches after amnesty was denied, they were in a revolutionary mindset and explicitly threated the officials with guns. However, Governor Rockefeller implicitly threatened the D- yard by surrounding it with state officials point guns down on them. Clarence Jones states, “snipers from the New York state troopers and the armed Attica prison guards rifles were aimed at all of us assembled in the prison yard.” This action on behalf of governor Rockefeller made the threat credible because it demonstrates that an attack by the governor was

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