Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Remembering our past to create a better future

February 2, 2015 marks the 35th anniversary of Penitentiary of New Mexico prison riot. 35 years. A lot can happen in that amount of time. For the Corrections Department we have strived to correct the issues that caused the riot in the first place.

35 years ago on February 2, 1980 inmates who were fed up with overcrowding and lack of programming took over the Penitentiary of New Mexico. It started with offenders overpowering four officers. In 22 minutes they had control of the whole prison. They had taken hostage of 14 officers. Inmates obtained power tools from a cellblock under construction, and used them to maim and torture other inmates. a total of 33 inmates were murdered during the riot. Though none of the officers held hostage were murdered, some of them were beaten, tortured, and stabbed.

The riot lasted a total of 36 hours. Although it was over, for the families of the 33 murdered inmates and the 14 officers held hostage; it would never be over. Some emotional and physical scars can never heal.

This is why it is so important for us to never forget what happened. We can't forget because we never want it to happen again. We can't forget because we need to honor the officers and murdered inmates. We can't forget because learning from our past is the only way to make the future better.

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