Facts about Alcatraz

You know Alcatraz, and you have seen so many movies about it, but do you really know all the facts related to it?

This post wants to highlight some interesting curiosities about the place, in order to give you more details and a better idea of how life was back in time when Alcatraz was used as prison.

1- The cells were never filled to capacity. In fact, the average number of prisoners was around 250-260, and the maximum was about 300. It means they were 336 cells still available which were never used.

2- There were no executions there, although there were 5 suicides and 8 murders.

3- Prisoners stayed there until they were no longer considered to be incorrigible. It means about 8-10 years.

4- There were only men on Alcatraz. This happened for 2 main reasons: first, there were no female correctional officers over there, second women prisoners started to be declared incorrigible staring in 1969, 6 years after the closure of the prison. The only ladies there were the officers’ wives.

5- Due to the Great San Francisco Earthquake which happened in 1906, 176 prisoners from the San Francisco jails were temporarily moved to Alcatraz.

6- Due to the safety, the families who lived there rarely locked their doors.

7- The sharks that swim in the San Francisco Bay and all around the island are not “man eaters”, and they had never eaten any of the humans there.

8- Robert Stroud, whose nickname was “the Birdman of Alcatraz”, had some canaries when he was working at the Leavenworth Penitentiary but he had never had birds at Alcatraz. Can you really believe his nickname was wrong?

9- We don’t know for sure the exact location of Al Capone’s cell, since he spent part of his four and a half years in a hospital isolation cell.