Download Alcatraz- The History of an Island Prison: From the by Donna L. Van Raaphorst PDF

By Donna L. Van Raaphorst

This research offers the single to be had chronologically whole heritage of Alcatraz Island. It demanding situations many in general held assumptions approximately Alcatraz as a jail for harmful criminals. This research truly demonstrates that Alcatraz and Alcatraz inmates weren't what most folks think them to were. aside from a handful of colourful excessive profile prisoner's e.g. Al Capone, the Birdman of Alcatraz, the inmates have been remarkably like these in different federal penitentiaries. even though now not excessively brutal, as Hollywood video clips depicted it, the establishment used to be harsh in its personal approach. This paintings may still attract a large viewers from the general public mostly and to these in educational associations.

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Instead they slept head-to-toe on pallets that lay on the stone floor of the dungeon. In addition, there were three isolation cells, one “dark”, and two “lighted,” in the Citadel’s 41 southwest tower. The two “lighted” cells had slit windows that opened into the ditch circling the building. All three measured approximately eight feet by four feet eight inches. Sanitary conditions were virtually nonexistent. The cells weren’t equipped with heat or running water. Bedbugs, lice, and fleas rapidly multiplied, infecting the prisoners’ clothing and pallets.

Located in San Francisco, its initial undertaking was construction of a line of lighthouses along California’s coast. 71 The all-white Cape Cod cottage-like structure with black trim sat on the Island’s high plateau at the southwest end. Two stories tall, the house had living quarters for two families. 72 The lens was a third order Fresnel Pattern purchased from France. Constructed at a cost of $3,800, it housed the best optical technology of the time. When it arrived in San Francisco late in l853, installation was put on hold because of insufficient funds.

Comparing their wages to workers back east, these men fared well. For example, a skilled mason might earn two or three dollars a day in New York City, compared to his counterpart on Alcatraz who made ten to twelve dollars a day. 81 Thanks to an initial congressional appropriation of $500,000, defense construction on Alcatraz began in l854. To protect the military’s main shipping anchorage, the engineers selected a spot 40 feet above the water at the very tip of the Island facing San Francisco. However, to build it, they had to terrace off a plane about one-third of the way up the natural slope of the Island.

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