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1980 Riot at the Penitentiary of New Mexico: Home

About the Riot

In the early morning hours on Saturday, 2 February 1980, inmates at the Penitentiary of New Mexico near Santa Fe overwhelmed four correctional officers during a routine inspection in one of the dormitories. These inmates immediately took the officers hostage and then ran to another dormitory where they attacked four more guards. Thus began a thirty-six-hour riot during which the rioting inmates held twelve officers hostage, thirty-three inmates lost their lives, and at least ninety inmates suffered serious injuries including beatings, stabbings, rapes and overdoses. Go to full article....

Excerpt from Stamatov, S. (n.d.). Riot at the Penitentiary: New Mexico 1980, NewMexicoHistory.Org.

About this Subject Guide

The New Mexico State Library reference desk is frequently asked for materials and research assistance on the 1980 Riot at the Penitentiary of New Mexico, and have created this subject guide to help researchers, survivors, and the public locate the materials more easily. Many of the materials listed in this subject guide are available for in-building use at the New Mexico State Library. Most newspaper articles can be requested directly from us as PDF files. If you are not in Santa Fe, other materials, such as state reports, books, and journal and magazine articles should be available by interlibrary loan through your local public library or university.

Amy Schaefer, Southwest Librarian

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Amy Schaefer
1209 Camino Carlos Rey
Santa Fe, NM