After doing a semester in an American university close to Pittsburgh from January to April 2012, I visited San Francisco for a couple of days. I could not miss the famous international jail, Alcatraz…. So, I visited it and I understood how this small society was organized and worked. Moreover, I was really impressed by the atmosphere of this place and the storytelling of inmates and correctional officers. For example, some prisoners had to stay for a while in the « Hole » (a totally closed cell without any natural light). I heard a prisoner threw the button of his shirt on the ground and tried to find it in the dark to keep himself busy. He could do it for hours. Some of them became completely mad!

In 1850, after being the property of the Mexican government, the Fort Alcatraz was attached to the USA to become a militar reserve for the American army. In 1934, the island was changed in a prison, dedicated to the most dangerous criminals and gangsters of the world such as Al Capone. Indeed, a sentence caught my attention: « Break the rules and you go to prison, break the prison rules and you go to Alcatraz. »

It is a place with a great history, with its escapes inspiring a lot of film directors. Thus, some famous movies were shot like Escape from Alcatraz made in 1979 by Don Siegel, Murder in the First in 1995 by Marc Rocco, The Rock made in 1996 by Michael Bay or Shutter Island by Martin Scorsese in 2010.

I let you read and watch these additional links if you want to find out more about this incredible place and all its mysteries…

History of Alcatraz
La véritable histoire de l’évadé d’Alcatraz