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Visiting Alcatraz !

Everybody knows about the Alcatraz island, the world's most famous prison probably. I didnt know it was located just two kilometers from the San Francisco wharf. It is really a quite small island, with only a few buildings still standing. The prison was used for thirty years, from 1933 to 1962, as an answer to high-profile criminals, and the need to lock them away from everything.

Here is a model of Alcatraz. The prison itself is only the middle building on top of the island, others were used as living quarters, warehouses and such.

This shot summarizes the history of the island. The real first inhabitant was the US army, for about one century. They made all the small-brick walls that are not done anymore. On top of them are the concrete walls of the prison. And painted on these, indians signs : the island was occupied one and a half year around 1969, as a symbol for native american rights.

Here is the recreation area, the only place the prisoners could see the sun and walk in open hair. This was considered a privilege.

This is the place where inmates would eat, closely guarded. The food was actually rather good, in order to keep them happy.

As you can see the cells are really small. One person each, about 300 in total (although Alcatraz has never been full). But each cell is less than two extended arms wide. Most prisoners were left in their cells 12 hours a day, and some almost 23h per day. I have no idea how you can survive in these conditions.

A few famous cells, here is Al Capone's...

And the one from one of the famous escapees at the end of the prison.

SF's skyline from Alcatraz.