We went on a mini vacation to San Fransisco for a day and a half and one of the major highlights for me was touring Alcatraz. We were late getting tickets and so there was only one time available. Bob was so nice and watched the kids for 3 hours so I could go on the tour. I made sure to take lots of pictures for him. We even watched an history channel about the jail before hand so we knew more about it.
This is the view of the island as you pull up. It is pretty small, and I think only about a mile away from San Fransisco. The building on the top is the jail. This was supposed to be the worst of the worst jails. They moved prisoners to Alcatraz when they were being bad in whatever jail they were already it. It was made and publicized to be a feared.
The crazy think is that the guards families live on the island. The jail, school house, and play yard are all next to each other. Families said that they were never scared and often they wouldn't even lock their doors.
I don't remember what this building is behind me but the decay is obvious. The decay from the salt water air is one of the main things that made the only successful escape possible.
This next picture is of the showers. I took this to mostly show my kids. I knew they would be shocked at the lack of privacy.
In the next picture you can see three rows of cells. The top ones were said to be the most coveted cells because of the way the sun comes in. The cells on the bottom right were the worst, solitary confinement. I had the chance to get locked in one of these. It was pitch black and had nothing but a toilet. The prisoners were given a mattress during sleeping hours only, and if they were good in their they kept the small window on the door open. If they were bad they didn't get the mattress or clothes and had to be chained in a standing position onto the bars.
This next picture shows how inmates might have decorated their cells depending on how they spent their time.
The view was great! That is another thing that was said to make it so hard for the inmates. They could see everything just across the water.
Here is the control room.
Three people dug holes in their walls and were able to escape. They used paper mache heads so people wouldn't notice. Once they got to the water they disappeared and no one knows what happened to them. I personally think they got away, some think they drowned. I think they said they would be in their 90s now.
And the last picture is of a morgue. I just thought it was pretty crazy that they had their own small morgue.
Even visiting it and learning about it I don't think anyone do didn't experience it can really know what it felt like to be imprisoned there. I'm glad I got to see it though.