This is from a really great article from over at MoJo:
“Surprisingly, even as their populations have swelled, America’s correctional facilities have become noticeably less violent. “The problem of riots and disturbances is not completely solved, but it is way below what it had been,” says Bert Useem, a Purdue sociologist who’s studied prison riots for three decades. The statistics bear this out: In 1972, the year after 29 prisoners and 10 guards were killed at Attica, there were more than 90 prison riots nationwide, yet by the mid-2000s, Useem writes, “prison riots had become rare.” And non-riot-related violence has waned too. Between 1995 and 2008, inmate violence in New York City jails dropped 95 percent.”
The article is a first-person narrative about volunteering for a training exercises for prison guards. It goes into some detail about strategies for responding to prison riots and about the business that surrounds prisons.