J is for Jail

The ultimate jail of its time – Alcatraz.

I was surprised when I got on the boat that would take us into the San Francisco Bay to visit Alcatraz that it’s less than a mile from the mainland. It might as well have been miles from shore, because escape was practically impossible. In its 29-year history, only five escapees aren’t accounted for but they are presumed dead. Every other inmate who attempted it was either caught or died. So, the five who were never found – did they really escape?

I thoroughly enjoyed my day on The Rock. So many interesting little peeks into the lives of infamous criminals – cells with unfinished crochet projects, street signs on the corridors, the menu still on the wall of the dining area.

One little tidbit – Alcatraz was the only prison in the US at that time to offer hot water for prisoners’ showers. The reason – the frigid water of the San Francisco Bay would be a deterrent in an escape attempt because they wouldn’t be accustomed to cold.

One tip – if you visit Alcatraz, even if it’s not overly warm, wear sunscreen. I learned that lesson the hard way.


J is for Jail — 2 Comments

  1. Hi, Alcatraz is one place I don’t think I would like to visit. Prisons hold no fascination for this chickie. I know the water is full of sharks and that was one deterrent preventing escape attempts. Very interesting post. Best regards to you. Ruby

  2. I also visited Alcatraz a few years ago. It was amazing, especially if you used the audio tour headphones as they gave you a real sense of what it must have been like with the constant banging and shouting. I think I found the most moving thing was how some prisoners had managed to create productive lives for themselves despite the harsh conditions. Some played music, one was the famous Birdman of Alcatraz. I found this more fascinating than the dramatic escape stories, but I’m an OT so I would!
    Good luck with the rest of the A-Z Challenge.