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Transcript of Alcatraz
no one was ever executed at Alcatraz
8 prisoners died from murders, 15 from illnesses, and 5 from suicide
after released, prisoners wrote books about their time on the island
the only women on the island were visitors, wives, and daughters
at the time, people would line up in SF to watch prisoners on Alcatraz
no personal belongings were allowed to Alcatraz
prisoners had their own cells rather than sharing one
cells were small: 5 feet by 9 feet
some former prisoners are still alive today
The Escape from Alcatraz
Life for Families on the Island
Prisoners and Security Guards
What is Alcatraz?
In 1934, Alcatraz had first opened as a federal prison. Alcatraz is the name of an island in the SF Bay that holds one of the world's most famous prisons. This prison was for inmates who had caused a lot of trouble in their old prison. After many years, Alcatraz has become one of SF's most famous tourist attractions.
Before it was a Prison
peak of mountain
Native Americans first settled there
many white pelicans also lived there
Spanish lieutenant discovered the island in 1775
military prison during Civil War
crimes increased, needed to stop
First Getting on the Island
first load of inmates arrived on August 11th, 1934
security guards surrounded them
thoroughly inspected, make sure there were no weapons
prisoners felt like they had no hope-no chance to escape
Escapes and Riots
14 escapes, 36 men, 23 caught, 8 died, 5 remain a mystery
The Battle of Alcatraz: most violent escape attempt. 5 dead and 18 wounded, first one to harm guards
most were unsuccessful because the SF currents were icy and cold-not good for swimming
strikes to rule of silence
most famous escape-The
Escape from Alcatraz
execute-to kill someone especially as punishment for a crime
federal-belonging to the United States government
hypothermia-a condition that occurs when your body temperature drops dangerously low
inmate-a person who is kept in a prison (another word for prisoner)
ventilator shaft (vent)-an open passageway that allows fresh air to enter a building
The Prison Closing
too many escapes-brought bad publicity
too expensive, had the same purpose as other prisons
Alcatraz closed on March 21, 1963
all prisoners transferred to other prisons
in 1969, 80-100 American Indians occupied the island, in 1971, all of them were removed
October 1973, Alcatraz opened as a tourist attraction to the public
take ferries from Pier 33 to Alcatraz
The Escape from Alcatraz is the most famous escape attempted during the years Alcatraz was a prison. The escape consisted of 3 men:
They had used spoons and nail clippers to chip away cement around the air vent in their cells. When the hole was big enough, they escape through there. Then, they made a lifeboat using life jackets. Also, so the guards wouldn't suspect anything, they made dummy heads and put them in their beds. When the guards found out it was fake, a search party was sent to find them, but they weren't found. To this day, nobody knows if it was successful or if they drowned.
"eat, sleep, work"
rule of silence-very strict
didn't do work=punished
punishment was sitting alone in your cell for 9 hours
privileges are visitors and other activities such as reading, painting, playing instruments
talking to other inmates=punished
1,545 men imprisoned
no women were inmates
lots of them had long criminal records
less famous inmates=crimes not as serious
security was tough
monitored them from watch tower
everything was "escape-proof"
family had guards
rules for where kids could play
contact with inmates was prohibited
kids took boat back to mainland for school
no stores on island, bought groceries on mainland
were very close with other residents
rarely locked doors-felt very safe
Alcatraz has had a lot of history behind it for the past several years. First it had just been a lonely island full of white pelicans, now it's one of San Francisco's most well known tourist attractions. Alcatraz is unique and there's no other prison quite like it.
By: Glori Zheng
Oliver, Marilyn Tower. Alcatraz Prison in American History. Springfield, NJ: Enslaw, 1998. Print.
Watson, Stephanie. The Escape from Alcatraz. Minneapolis, MN: ABDO Pub., 2012. Print
Hopkinson, Deborah. "Escape from ALCATRAZ." Middle Search Plus. EBSCO, 29 Oct. 2012. Web. 2 June 2014.
"Alcatraz-Quick Facts." Alcatraz Facts and Figures. Ocean View, n.d. Web. 2 June 2014. <http://www.alcatrazhistory.com/factsnfig.htm>.