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Attica Victims Seeking Reparations

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By Mark Scott

Albany, NY – Guards killed or injured in the 1971 Attica prison riot and their families are seeking more than $30 million in reparations. Members of the group, The Forgotten Victims of Attica, will tell their stories before a special state task force that will convene in Rochester Thursday.

The 1971 riot claimed the lives of 43 people -- 11 state employees and 32 inmates.

Until now, the only payments families of the killed hostages received were death benefits. Survivors received medical reimbursements and paid time off.

Early in 2000, an $8 million settlement in federal court went to a group of about 500 inmates injured in the riot, with individual amounts ranging from about $10,000 to $250,000. The survivors are seeking a similar amount in reparations.

Forgotten Victims seeks an apology from the state, greater access to records, counseling for members still affected by the riot, and permission to continue holding an annual memorial service at the Attica monument to the eleven dead state employees.

State Senator Dale Volker, R-Depew, put together legislation that would compensate each of the widows of the eleven state employees killed $50,000.