SANTA FE (KRQE) - The state Corrections Department is on the hunt for those who lived through the 1980s deadly Santa Fe prison riot – National Guard troops, retired corrections officers, even the prisoners themselves.
Corrections officials are now offering tours of the prison facility where 33 inmates died and a number of prison guards were badly hurt.
The department wants to be sure the tours are as factual as possible.
“We really want to hear from the people who were intimately involved that day,” said Alex Tomlin, spokesman for the Department of Corrections.
The state Corrections Department started conducting regular tours of the old prison for an hour per group.
But now, they're going to set aside an entire day for those who actually worked at the prison the day hell broke loose on Feb. 2 and 3 1980.
No tourists, nobody from the TV or movie industry will be invited – just those who lived through the riot.
“Religious leaders, members of the National Guard, State Police who showed up and sat there for hours, people who went into the facility afterwards and tried to identify the bodies.”
Tomlin says they want their perspective on what happened that day to make sure the story being told during the tours is factual.
But they're not only inviting the responders, they're asking the inmates to come back, too.
“Everybody saw something different, so we need to make sure that they all have a say in what's going on with the building. People are very interested in the prospect of preserving the building and making sure it’s not a spectacle,” Tomlin said. “That’s what is important to us. It’s not a haunting, It’s not a ghost story. It’s real life and those people need to be respected.”
Prison officials say they will allow the family members of those who died during the riot – or years after – to take the tour for them.
The special tour date is set for Oct. 25.
Those involved in the prison riot and their relatives can call 505-827-8645.
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