prison has an area for to worst offenders;
some place dark and deep. This place is
usually more secure and removed from the
rest of the prison. A Prison System is
the same, with one prison delegated to
being the place that houses the worst
of the worst. If you were a very dangerous
person that got arrested or transferred
between 1933 and 1963 then Alcatraz Island
is were you would end up.
Discovered by the Spanish in 1769, the
prison was turned into an island fort.
When war broke out in 1846 the then Mexican
Province of “Alta California”
was invaded by the United States; the
island of Alcatraz and the surrounding
city of San Francisco went with it (officially
under American control in 1851). The U.S.
took this fort and used it as a military
prison, which made it easy to convert
into a civilian prison. Nicknamed “The
Rock,” it was a symbol of the impregnable
fortress prison with maximum security
and strict discipline.
was closed in 1963 and lay empty until
1969 at which point a group of Native
Americans took the abandoned island as
their own. They hoped to make a community
but the island wasn’t particularly
habitable (which was why it was a prison)
and so the island was abandoned again
in 1971. Alcatraz became part of Golden
Gate National Recreation Area in 1972,
and by the mid-1990s it was attracting
almost a million visitors a year.
Alcatraz is a bleak and forbidding place
with grey walls and stiff winds. It is
a favoured home of sea birds and exhibits
several varieties of endangered plants.
The buildings on the island are crumbling
and many areas of the complex are off
limits of tourists and park staff alike.
Inside the old inmate section (i.e. the
cells) the prison is even bleaker still,
with row upon row of human-cages dimly
lit by barred skylights. Several infamous
people called Alcatraz their home, including
Mafia legend Al Capone. If you really
want to get the full Alcatraz experience
get one of the tour guides to seal you
in to one of the “isolation cells”.
Completely black and without hope, these
cells and buildings still give and accurate
picture of what it must have been like
to live in this infamous prison complex
all those years ago.