Interview with Frank Smith (Big Black)

Tell me about the conditions--


The conditions in Attica State Prison, you know, really, you know, if, when you say it, you know, people, it's hard for people to believe it. You know you get one shower a week, you know, and if you get more than that then you got to get a bucket of water when you get in your cell. And if you fortunate enough you can get two. That mean you can wash the top of your body and you can wash the bottom of your body. You get one roll of toilet paper, until that's given out, give out, or until the police want to give you another one or unless you can get one of the inmates, your fellow inmate, to swag you one. That means going in the police's bathroom which they keep two or three rolls in there and get one of those and bring them to you, you know. Now, the medical care, I mean what we call it, was two refugee doctors. If you got a toothache and you go to the doctor, they give you an aspirin or else they pull it. Wasn't no such thing as filling it. And if you tell a doctor you wanted to get it filled or you wanted to get it checked. Then he'll tell you, "Well, you not a doctor. How do you know what's wrong with you?" You know. And all they do is push aspirin. Push aspirin. No medical care at all. You know, no examination as to really what's wrong with you, you know, and those same two doctors is the ones that they had on the day of the retaking of the facility.