August Rebellion: New York’s Forgotten Female Prison Riot

Soon after dusk fell on August 29, 1974, a group of around 200 female prisoners seized control of two buildings and a recreation yard at the Bedford Hills Correctional Facility, a maximum-security state prison for women 45 miles north of New York City.

An 18-year-old named Cindy J. Reed, known as Sid, helped lead the women. They demanded proof that one of their own, Carol Crooks, was still alive after she had been seen dragged from her cell by an all-male prison SWAT team, thrown down a flight of concrete stairs, tied by her hands and feet to a pole, and carried away.

“The did me like a pig,” Crooks, now 69 and living in East Harlem, told the Voice. “Like a roasted pig on a stick.”