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Local History: The Westchester County Jail Riot Of 1981

Thursday, July 08, 2021  07:00pm  08:15pm


Jails and prisons that offer little in the way of rehabilitation. Drug laws that seem to unfairly target people of color. These conditions plague today’s criminal justice system. Forty years ago, they were also the focus of complaints by Westchester County Jail inmates, leading them to stage an unprecedented uprising. SETH KERSHNER, a researcher at the University of Massachusetts, discusses the July 1981 uprising at Westchester County Jail--three riots in three days that caused one million dollars in damage. Although inmates hoped to amplify complaints about racism in the county’s criminal justice system, their efforts to attract public sympathy ironically ended up fueling the New York State prison-building boom of the 1980s. You won’t want to miss this presentation, which promises to add valuable context to contemporary debates over prisons and policing.

Location     White Plains Public Library Zoom Event
Contact      K. Bauman, 914-422-1489
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