Jerry Myles, a convict at Alcatraz Island and several other federal and state prisons, came to Montana State Prison in Deer Lodge in the summer of 1958 on a burglary conviction. Inside the prison he became a "con boss," which means he was in charge of other convicts who worked in the garment factory. Soon after Myles arrived, a reform warden named Floyd Powell took charge of the prison. Powell stripped Myles and other con bosses of their authority, which led to a power struggle inside the prison. Myles was angry and vowed revenge for what he saw as humiliation. Powell didn't isolate Myles but instead left him mingling in the general prison population. The anger climaxed in a deadly riot that began April 16, 1959. The riot was one of the last of a series of riots inside American prisons in the 1950s. This book carefully details the ingredients of the riot, the riot itself, and the aftermath.
This report prepared by Kevin S. Giles