cox essay

Submitted By MeLesha1221
Words: 855
Pages: 4

MeLesha Ahlberg
Dr. Cox
CrimJ-230
October 2, 2015

Alcatraz One of Americas most famous and historical prisons, located in the cold waters and strong currents in San Francisco bay. This penitentiary was known to be impossible to escape, and one of the strictest prisons in America- Alcatraz. This federal correctional facility was an institute that would receive inmates with repeat offenses and violations in other correctional facilities. Alcatraz was a well-known prison confining some of the most dangerous offenders and also very famous offenders, such as Al Capone and George “Machine Gun” Kelly. Pertaining to the correctional image, I will talk about what the image of Alcatraz tells us about corrections in America, what the main importance was, and how Alcatraz has shown changes in the course of corrections in America. Based on the image, Alcatraz is located off of San Francisco Bay about 1.5 miles and covering around 22 acres. Alcatraz was not a facility many inmates succeeded in escaping. (Alcatraz) In 1775, Alcatraz originated as a military prison, by 1850 the United States Army resigned and allowed the U.S. Justice Department to control this federal penitentiary. The United States Justice Departments ideal institute for Alcatraz was to be a facility that could house criminal offenders that were too problematic and dangerous to be held at any other U.S penitentiary. Relating to the reasoning of what the U.S. Justice Department wanted and also achieved, proves that isolation was a major role in corrections of America. As Alcatraz took a step further than facilities today, they used isolation by placing their inmates on an island. America today also uses isolation by only allowing limited contact with other inmates, limited yard time, and occasional phone calls and visits. Alcatraz used isolation by only given four rights. The inmates four rights were medical attention, shelter, food and clothing. Another way Alcatraz used isolation was by not allowing a lot of time to socialize with other inmates. After expressing how the image of Alcatraz tells us about corrections in America, there are also many good qualities with Alcatraz. (The History of Alcatraz Island) The main importance of the United States Penitentiary, Alcatraz Island was to detain prisoners who continually caused trouble, this penitentiary was furthermore a last resort for inmates who had no hope of rehabilitating. In 1935, the Bureau of Prisons observed that: “The establishment of this institution not only provided a secure place for the detention of the more difficult type of criminal, but has had a good effect upon discipline in our other penitentiaries also. No serious disturbance of any kind has been reported during the year." (Thompson) As Alcatraz is known to be the last resort for bad behavioral inmates, many could only imagine the behavior inside the facility. Alcatraz separated their inmates into three classes based on their behavior and crime that they have committed. Prisoners in the third class were not aloud to have any kind of reading material, whether it was from a family member or even the library. Third class prisoners were also rarely permitted to socialize. If the prisoners decide to not follow the rules they had punishments. Violating the rules led to solitary confinement, no limitation to hard labor, a twelve-pound ball chained to their ankles, and also a restricted water/bread diet. (Alcatraz: The History of…