McALESTER — Forty years ago this weekend, prisoners at Oklahoma State Penitentiary banded together in what became a three-day riot, taking employees hostage, burning buildings and beating employees and each other. In the end, the riot was blamed for the deaths of three inmates, injuries to more than 20 and more than $20 million in damage. The infamously decrepit West Cellhouse was later closed and other reforms were instituted, most likely due to prison conditions revealed in the wake of the revolt. Today, the state’s only maximum-security men’s prison — home to Death Row and the most dangerous inmates in Oklahoma — houses a fraction of its 1973 inmate population. On Sunday, we’ll take an in-depth look at what happened on July 27, 1973, why it happened, and what the future looks like for one of McAlester’s biggest employers.