Alcatraz: Federal Prison

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A prison is a building in which people are held as a punishment for crimes they have committed. Prisons are also known for being an inescapable facility capable of holding the worst of the worst, and keeping them away for good. Prisons are also known for being filthy and horrible. They are also known for their disgusting food and small servings of food; which, never satisfied the convicts appetite. But, Alcatraz was different. Alcatraz evolved within the years from a U.S. Military facility – prison, into a building dedicated to holding the worst of the worst of the criminals.
According to historians, the island of Alcatraz has been used for military and federal prison before becoming a tourist attraction. The prison held the worst
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On October 12, 1933 The United States Department of Justice acquired control over Alcatraz island, and in August 1934 Alcatraz island officially became a BOP federal prison. The United States Department of Justice wanted to transform Alcatraz into a federal prison, because they wanted to build a maximum-security prison to be able to handle a criminal community too dangerous to be held in a normal U.S. prison. According to “The Federal Government had decided to open a maximum-security, minimum-privilege penitentiary to deal with the most incorrigible inmates in Federal prisons, and to show the law-abiding public that the Federal Government was serious about stopping the rampant crime of the 1920s and 1930s”. Thus, some improvements have been made on the current structure of the prison, and the weak parts have been reinforced handle what’s coming. As stated in Howard Duff’s documentary “Early in the morning of October 11 1934, the first batch of 137 prisoners arrived at Alcatraz, arriving by railroad from the United States Penitentiary in Leavenworth, Kansas at Santa Venetia, California, before being escorted to Alcatraz, handcuffed in high security coaches and guarded by some 60 special FBI agents, U.S. Marshals and railway security officials”. The prisoners mostly were killers and bank…show more content…
Within the 29 years Alcatraz was in use, it held some of the worst criminals in the American history, such as Al Capone, Robert Franklin Stroud (the Birdman of Alcatraz), George "Machine Gun" Kelly. Within these years there have been 14 escape attempts by 36 prisoners non were successful. According to “Twenty-three were caught, six were shot and killed during their escape, and two drowned. Two of the men who were caught were later executed in the gas chamber at the California State Prison at San Quentin for their role in the death of a correctional officer during the famous May 2-4, 1946, "Battle of Alcatraz" escape attempt”. Alcatraz’s federal prison time was up at that moment on March 21, 1963, the prison was shut down by Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy after 29 years of service. The reason after the decision was that the prison was costing too much to run. According to “in 1959 the daily per capita cost at Alcatraz was $10.10 compared with $3.00 at USP Atlanta”. Also, citizens started to protest because of the sewage released on Alcatraz by the inmates, staff, and their families. The sewage was affecting the Bay’s environmental life and its image. At that moment, Alcatraz is not a prison of any kind anymore. But, that wasn’t the end of
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