Summary of Spying on Attica

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More than two million Americans are locked up in the country’s correctional system. Yet first-hand accounts of everyday life in prisons are rare. John J. Lennon, a convicted murderer serving a sentence of 28 years to life in New York State’s prison system, honed his writing skills in prison so he could provide an insider’s view on some of the issues and concerns affecting inmates. Attica correctional facility, the maximum security prison where Lennon spent eight years, has been known for its culture of violence and abuse against inmates. For the Marshall Project, Lennon reports on how installing surveillance equipment has put an end to decades of prisoner mistreatment at New York State’s infamous Attica prison. getAbstract believes that anyone who cares about criminal justice issues won’t want to miss this insider report.

In this summary, you will learn

  • Why Attica Correctional Facility has a notorious reputation for prisoner abuse and
  • How surveillance equipment can change prison culture for the better. 

About the Author

John J. Lennon is serving a sentence of 28 years to life, including at Attica Correctional Facility and Sing Sing. 



In 2006, Josef Kirk Fischl, an inmate at New York State’s notorious Attica Correctional Facility, received a misbehavior ticket from a correctional officer for refusing to cut his dreadlocks. After the ensuing disciplinary hearing ruled in favor of him keeping his dreads, two correctional officers entered his cell, beat him up and sent him to solitary confinement. His misbehavior report alleged that the two officers were acting in self-defense after Fischl had attacked them with an improvised knife. As a result, Fischl received almost one year of solitary confinement and lost all his privileges for the year.

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