Erin Kelley

What was Alcatraz and what was it like there?

Alcatraz was a famous federal prison established in 1934. Alcatraz was located on Alcatraz Island also known as "The Rock" in San Francisco bay, a little over a mile off the San Francisco coast (Fickenauer). There were 336 cells, each cell 5 by 9 feet. Every cell had a sink with cold running water, a sleeping cot and a toilet. Inmates were confined in their cell for 24 hours a day with the exception of one visit per week to the recreation yard (Alcatraz; Facts and Figures). Alcatraz was also the highest security prison in America (Barter).

What did you have to do to be taken there?

Alcatraz was home of the hardest criminals guilty of the worst crimes. Some "gangsters" even wanted to go to Alcatraz to enhance their reputation with other criminals. Gangsters Al Capon, (known for many crimes including bootlegging and gambling) George "Machine Gun" Kelly (known for bank robberies and kidnappings) and Robert Stroud (known for the murders of Kitty O'Brien and Andrew F Turner) were few of the many memorable criminals imprisoned in Alcatraz. (Oliver)

Why was Alcatraz closed down?

Alcatraz was extremely expensive, because being on an island everything had to be shipped by boat. On May 21st, 1963 Alcatraz closed do to it being too costly. Now, Alcatraz is apart of the Golden Gate Nation Recreation Area, and welcomes 1 million visitors a year. (Finckenauer)


"Alcatraz Facts & Figures." Alcatraz Facts & Figures. department of justice, n.d. Web. 8 May 2014. <

Finckenauer, James. "Alcatraz." . World Book Student, 6 May 2014. Web. . <>.

Barter, James. "Alcatraz." . Wcent Books, 1 Jan. 2000. Web. . <>.

Tower, Oliver. "Alcatraz Prison in American History." . Enslow Publishers, 1 Sept. 1998. Web. . <>.

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