Factors That Made Alcatraz Island a Maximum Security Prison
Joseph W. Lard
Every country has its own unique and enormous man-made landmarks. In Europe, London has Big Ben, Paris has the romantic Eiffel Tower, and Italy has the curious Leaning Tower of Pisa. From China and it’s Great Wall to Egypt with it’s pyramids and sphinx popular man-made landmarks are everywhere. America even has its own glorious landmarks such as the Statue of Liberty and the Empire State Building. All of these are excellent examples of beauty and excellence that are rooted deeply in their country’s history and even somewhat of their identity. On the other hand, every country also has landmarks that bring an eerie and disdainful mark upon them. Nothing seems to do this better than a prison, and America has it’s fair share of popular prisons. These include: Leavenworth (Hot House), Eastern State Penitentiary (Cherry Hill), Attica, San Quentin, Sing Sing (The Big House, Up the River, The Last Mile), and Folsom. These are some of the largest and most popular prisons of America, but there is one that surpasses them all with unprecedented popularity. It has been featured in hit movies from Hollywood, and featured in video games such as Rush 2 and Tony Hawk Pro-Skater. The prison of course is Alcatraz, or more popularly called by those who were incarcerated there, “The Rock.” There are three things that made Alcatraz Island a maximum security prison which were: It’s location, it’s setup and, and chilling swift currents.
Alcatraz Island is located one and a half miles off shore in the San Francisco Bay. It was formed more than fifteen thousand years ago during the closing stages of the last ice age (Davis 21). The enormous glaciers melted away over many years, splitting the island forever from any other land. It was not until Juan Manual Ayala, who was a Spaniard, landed on the Island and...