01 March 2018

Everything on Alcatraz

In the San Francisco bay you can find the island Alcatraz. Which we know for the heavily secured prison. The island is surrounded by ice cold water with strong currents. This caused Alcatraz to be considered the most ideal location for a prison.

One of the most famous prisoners of Alcatraz was Al Capone, he was a gangster from Chicago. He got transferred from Cook County Jail to Alcatraz since he new how to bribe the security guards in Cook County Jail. He would not be able to do this in Alcatraz. Al Capone arrived at Alcatraz in 1934 and spend 4.5 years there. He of course tried to persuade the head security for extra privileges multiple times, however never successfully.

In the 29 years the Alcatraz was used as a prison there had been 14 escape attempts, in which a total of  36 prisoners were involved. 23 prisoners got caught during their attempt to escape, 6 of them got shot and 2 prisoners drowned. Leaving only 2 men. These prisoners have never been found, but it is assumed that they drowned as well.

The prison got closed in 1963, since there was too much maintains that needed to be done which would cost too much. Now the prison is part of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area and it is managed by the National Park Service, and of course open for visitors. Alcatraz is open the entire year except on Christmas day, Thanksgiving and New Years day.

Some tips:

  • Be aware that on the island they do not sell any food or drinks. On the ferry on the way there is a snack bar where you will be able to eat something. On Alcatraz it is only allowed to eat on the dock and nowhere else on the island. Water bottles are allowed everywhere on the island.
  • There is also a tram for people who are not able to walk. This tram drives up and down two times an hour. People without any handicaps are not allowed to make use of this tram.
  • The person who bought the tickets, or buys them at the locket, needs to be able to identify himself with an identity card which has a picture. The other people in the group do not need to identify themselves.
  • It is not allowed to bring large baggage with you on to the ferry. The bag is not allowed to be bigger than 40 by 50 cm.
  • Always take some warm clothing with you, it is a lot colder on the island and on the ferry.
  • Apply for your ESTA in time before you leave