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Quick Fact – Privilege Lost

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Quelling the 1954 riot at the Missouri State Penitentiary in Jefferson City


In a longstanding tradition, Missouri State Penitentiary inmates were allowed, on New Year’s Day, to gamble with their prison savings while playing dice and card games with each other.

The warden, however, rescinded the privilege after the deadly, destructive riot inside the facility in fall 1954, during which convicts set fires and fought law enforcement officers with handmade weapons.

Photo from the Missouri State Highway Patrol

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