Old State Pen Open For Tours

January 31st, 2012 at 12:07 pm by under Latest Posts

The Corrections Department will be opening the infamous “Old Main” prison , where the 1980 prison riot happened for public tours starting Thursday.

When the riot was over 33 inmates had been murdered by others, some mutilated, tortured and set on fire. To this day there are marks on the prison floors and walls that show the brutality of those two days.

The hour and a half guided toursĀ  will include historical information about New Mexico prisons as well as post riot reforms.

Please share your thoughts about the state’s decision to do this.


11 Responses to “Old State Pen Open For Tours”

  1. KELLI O. says:

    I plan on going. I want to learn about the history of it. It has been something I have wanted to do for years now but never thought I would have the chance.

    1. Where do I sign up for the tour?

  2. DorisV says:

    I think this is awful. There are too many wounds that will be opened by this. It makes me sick to think that people would want to see this ugliness. Man’s inhumanity to man at it’s worst.

  3. Rocky says:

    I would LOVE to tour the prison! In fact, I might have to take a vacation day to go take advantage of this opportunity.

  4. Harriet says:

    The 1980 riot is one of the things we’ll be studying in my Sociology class. I would like to tour the prison to get a better idea of what happened. I hope the history will be portrayed with sensitivity and candor, so that there will never be a repeat of that awful event.
    Yes, it will open wounds. Yes, it is an ugly chapter in NM history. So are many other things in our history that we must face and accept responsibility for. Education is the key, and sometimes the only way to bring a harsh lesson home is to open up these places and make it possible for a new generation to understand the whole picture. I will go.

  5. Tom says:

    I was lucky enough to tag along on a photo shoot at the prison back in ’07. It was fascinating. An old jail guard from that time was our guide, and he told us some gory stories. I was surprised to not see a whole lot about the riot online. I’m interested in learning more.

    KRQE, you really need to get someone to edit your web copy. Wow.

  6. Art Espinoza says:

    My whole career has been corrections. I worked at that facility in 1960 for a couple of years and then went to work for the Federal Bureau of Prisons. I retired after 28 years with them. I experienced a number of Riots but nothing as serious as the Riots in Santa Fe. I recollect the fact that when I started as a Correctional Officer, we didn’t have much training. I remember being given a set of keys and placed in a Dormitory with a about 75 prisoners. I was locked in with them but had to circulate amongst them.. I didn’t have any trouble but it was scary as hell… lol

  7. Elaine says:

    I would really like to go on this tour. Is there a sign up? Reservation? Is there a cost? Sorry, but I didn’t see the whole news report, just the tail end.

  8. Lyman Devin says:

    I had the opportunity to meet some of the guards and some of the prisoners. It is a pity ANY of the prisoners survived!

  9. Dave M says:

    Worked the old main back in the 80s as a C.O. and am glad they opened the tour. Thought I would never have a chance to go back in. Already signed up. Great idea!

  10. chris w. says:

    Where can one sign up for the tours? I would like more information please.

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