The Yima Territorial Prison

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The Yuma Territorial Prison is an amazing landmark that holds a lot of sad memories and pieces of history. According to Arizona State Parks, on July 1, 1876 the first inmates were taken and locked up in the prison. The prison ran for 33 years and held about 3,069 prisoners. It was one of the best prisons because of how hard it would be to escape.This paper will explain how the Yuma Territorial Prison was a model institution for its time, how it helped the homeless during the Depression and a place of suffering as well as an interesting historic site to the modern society.

The Yuma Territorial Prison had started off as just a prison, but over the years it became more than that. According to Arizona Stories, the prison was first authorized
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Crimes ranged from polygamy to murder. One of the most well known criminals was Pearl Hart. According to the Yuma Territorial Prison Museum, she was known as the “Bandit Queen.” Pearl robbed the Globe to Florence stagecoach. Her and her partner managed to rob them but ended up getting lost trying to escape. They were caught and sentenced to five years in the Yuma Territorial Prison. She became a well known sensation around the country. Although she was supposed to serve five years she used her feminine charm to get her pardoned. She flirted with the guards and prisoners and managed to leave three years early. Another famous prisoners was Frank Leslie aka the “Fast Gun.” Leslie previously worked at an Oriental Bar in Tombstone, Arizona. He killed a man from the Clanton Gang as well as his girlfriend while he was intoxicated. He was on the newspaper and caught the eye of a woman in California. She fell in love with him and they got married while he was still in prison. He was known as the “Fast Gun” because he had great accuracy and speed with a six gun, according to his boss. Last but not least is Elena Estrada aka “Heartbreaker.” Elena was sentenced to 7 years for manslaughter. Estrada caught her husband cheating on her. Heart broken, she cut his chest open and ripped out his heart. As if that wasn’t enough, she grabbed his heart and threw it on his face. These three were just a few of the…show more content…
The Yuma Territorial Prison seemed like a luxurious place to be if you weren’t actually inside. Some people spent their life there working and suffering. Many would be buried in the cemetery but some souls would continue to live there. It was much more secure than most of the prison created at that time. It was surrounded by desert and the Colorado River. The prison was a great prison compared to others and it did help house many homeless people and families. To the people who lived there, it was a torturous place that they spent their days in. Some were foreigners and were as far away from their family as possible living in a grotesque and cruel environment. Now it is a historic site to visit that showed how it was to live and suffer
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