Alcatraz Prison

explanatory Essay
1265 words
1265 words

Alcatraz Prison, in the San Francisco Bay, is surrounded by freezing waters and razor sharp rocks, making it the most inescapable prison in America. In 1775, a Spanish explorer Juan Manuel De Ayla named the small island La Isla De Los Alcatraces. It translates to “Island of the Pelicans” (Welcome to Alcatraz). This island is a twelve acre rock in the San Francisco Bay, the largest natural harbor in the world (Fuller,8). Because Alcatraz is surrounded by ice cold waters and dangerous currents, it was soon to be considered a perfect location for holding prisoners (Welcome to Alcatraz). “The Rock” opened for the first time as a federal prison in 1934 (Alcatraz Prison).

The first warden on Alcatraz was James A. Johnston, he started on July 1, 1934 (Fuller, 12) On the island, of course there were many rules to go by. First, there were no visitors accepted within the first three months of living on the island (Welcome to Alcatraz). Enforcing the rule of no talking was apart of their psychological punishment. The prisoners were locked in their cells for over half the day, fourteen hours a day (Oliver, 53). Hygiene was very strict. Each inmate was to shave 3 times weekly (Fuller, 11). No prisoners were allowed to visit their cells during the day. Inmates also worked as servants for families that lived on the island (Welcome to Alcatraz). These prisoners were granted with an excellent kitchen ( Welcome to Alcatraz). They were able to get as much of what they like, but no food could be thrown away. If you wasted your food, you were not allowed to have the next meal (Welcome to Alcatraz). If prisoners went against these rules, some of their punishments were they had to wear ball and chain, the would have to do manual labor, and go...

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...everything on Alcatraz had to be imported, food, clothes, prisoners, and other goods was very expensive. It cost twenty-six thousand dollars to me Alcatraz Prison inescapable ( Oliver, 53). As they exported all the prisoners from Alcatraz and sent them off to other prisons they wondered what to do with the island (Presnall, 93). Years went by and different suggestions for what America should use the island for. Some thought it should be used for a nudist colony, some thought their should be a Statue of Liberty for the western United States, or maybe a park for America’s space program ( Presnall, 93). But, all were rejected by the government (Presnall, 43). In 1973, Alcatraz Island was opened to the public as a tourist attraction ( Alcatraz Prison). Today, over one million people come to the San Francisco Bay to tour the said to be haunted island ( Alcatraz Prison).

In this essay, the author

  • Explains that alcatraz is surrounded by freezing waters and razor sharp rocks, making it the most inescapable prison in america.
  • Explains that the first warden on alcatraz was james a. johnston, who started on july 1, 1934.
  • Explains that inmates were divided into three groups according to the degree of crimes they committed. they could have no reading material, no contact with any family, and were to be silent at all times.
  • Describes robert stroud as the "birdman" who robbed and murdered a bartender and was sent to mcneil island where he attacked an orderly while there.
  • Explains that joseph bowers was the first escape attempt at the alcatraz prison. he crawled up a sixty foot mesh wire fence and was shot in his side.
  • Explains that alcatraz was a successful prison from 1934 to 1963. it was closed because of the high expenses to keep it going.
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