So what would happen if during a prison riot the prisoners killed all the guards?

A common scenario in fiction is a prison riot that results in all the non-prisoners in either a cell block (or in more extreme cases) the entire prison getting killed by the prisoners.

In real life modern times this has never happened as far as I know but I’m curious, what would happen to the prisoners once order has been restored. Let’s say prisoners overtake an entire cell block, there’s about 200 prisoners and about 10 guards and two support personnel and in the process of the riot the prisoners kill all 12 non-prisoners.

Would every single prisoner now be charged with counts of multiple murder because they were all accessories (and also because we have no real way of knowing who was truly responsible)? Would they instead try to use prison snitches to find the true perpetrators? What would happen if an entire prison rebelled and the same thing happened on a mass scale?

Based on a cursory search, it appears that authorities usually feel they know who the ringleaders are in a riot and focus on them. The rest of the prisoners end up with disciplinary action like segregation, withdrawal of privileges, etc.

In the 1993 Lucasville riot, four individual prisoners were convicted of murder. Although gangs participated in the riot, the individual inmates were thought to be acting on their own.

Somewhat similar in the Florence, Colorado riot. Only four prisoners charged.

After Attica, investigations showed that most of the deaths came from police shooting blindly into a crowd of inmates and hostages. Still, dozens individual prisoners were eventually indicted, although none that I can tell for murder.

Since this requires speculation, let’s move it to IMHO.

General Questions Moderator