Because the first day passed without incident

Because the first day passed without incident, the guards were surprised and totally unprepared for the rebellion which broke out on the morning of the second day. During the second day of the experiment, the prisoners removed their stocking caps, ripped off their numbers, and barricaded themselves inside the cells by putting their beds against the door. The guards called in reinforcements. The three guards who were waiting on stand-by duty came in and the night shift guards voluntarily remained on duty. The guards retaliated by using a fire extinguisher which shot a stream of skin-chilling carbon dioxide, and they forced the prisoners away from the doors. Next, the guards broke into each cell, stripped the prisoners naked and took the beds out. The ringleaders of the prisoner rebellion were placed into solitary confinement. After this, the guards generally began to harass and intimidate the prisoners. One of the three cells was designated as a “privilege cell.” The three prisoners least involved in the rebellion were given special privileges. The guards gave them back their uniforms and beds and allowed them to wash their hair and brush their teeth. Privileged prisoners also got to eat special food in the presence of the other prisoners who had temporarily lost the privilege of eating. The effect was to break the solidarity among prisoners.

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