They’re connected by an invisible bond —correctional officers who survived two of the worst prison riots in American history.
Don Almeter, a survivor of the bloody and deadly 1971 prison riot in Attica, New York, met John Barrier, who survived the devastating 1973 riot at Oklahoma State Penitentiary, for the first time on Thursday.
Almeter made it a personal point to visit Barrier, who had been savagely beaten by inmates while held as a captive during the OSP riot. They met in McAlester in a room at the Walnut Grove Living Center.
He could identify with what Barrier lived through.
During the riot at Attica, rampaging inmates had beaten Almeter while storming through the prison. He remained a hostage for days.
Almeter, who is now a volunteer with the Correctional Peace Officers Association and who lives in Florida, had told former OSP Warden Dan Reynolds he wanted to meet Barrier the next time he traveled to Oklahoma.
On Thursday, Almeter and Reynolds, accompanied by CPFO Field Representative Richard Loud, of Newport, R.I., met with Barrier in a private setting at Walnut Grove.
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