Thursday, February 16, 2012

Facts About Alcatraz Prison

Alcatraz Island is an island located in the San Francisco Bay, 1.5 miles (2.4 km) offshore from San Francisco, California, United States. Often referred to as "The Rock", the small island was developed with facilities for a lighthouse, a military fortification, a military prison, and a Federal Bureau of Prisons federal prison until 1963.

Beginning in November 1969, the island was occupied for more than 19 months by a group of American Indians from San Francisco, who were part of a wave of Indian activism across the nation, with public protests through the 1970s. Later, in 1972, Alcatraz became a national recreation area and received designation as a National Historic Landmark in 1986.

Alcatraz Facts:

  • The prison was originally an army fort, which was later converted into and used as a federal penitentiary for 29 years (1934 to 1963).
  • There were 336 cells in B & C Block.
  • There were eight people murdered by inmates on Alcatraz. Five men committed suicide, and fifteen died from natural illnesses.
  • The average time of residence was about eight years.
  • The NPS records indicate that 36 prisoners were involved in various escape attempts.
  • The most famous escape was that of Frank Morris and the Anglin Brothers.
  • During World War II, inmates made khakis, fatigues and cargo nets for the war effort.
  • The average number of inmates in Alcazar Prison during the 29 years of its operation was around 260 and approximately 1545 total men imprisoned there.
  • In 1973 Alcatraz became part of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area. It now has over 1.4 million visitors a year.

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