By David Ward, Gene Kassebaum
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Additional info for Alcatraz: The Gangster Years
And what happened when these "habitual, incorrigible" convicts were finally released? By shining a light on the most famous prison in the world, Ward also raises timely questions about today's supermax prisons. Review "Enjoyable as well as informative. "--California Historian From the Inside Flap "Ward has collected the most impressive documentation anywhere on the workings of a prison. "--Howard Becker, author of Outsiders: Studies in the Sociology of Deviance and Art Worlds "This groundbreaking history of the country's most notorious prison is the first to give an in-depth analysis of the interaction between the guards and the prisoners.
Mr. Bennett wrote to me again on September 7, 1976, that he was working on case histories of “prisoners I have known in my personal files”; two years later, October 3, 1978, he informed me, “I found Fred Wilkinson’s detailed report on the escape (June, 1962 Anglin-Morris). ” After his death the remaining Alcatraz materials were lost. As the Bureau of Prisons became more bureaucratic after 1948, more information about inmates was compiled and records at Alcatraz were made in multiple copies. We were able to locate some missing inmate admission summaries, special progress reports, annual reviews, and other information in federal probation offices across the country.
He described a life, before Alcatraz, spent “running around,” engaging in a rapid sequence of illegal activities interrupted only by occasional periods in jail or prison where the prospect of release in the not-too-distant future kept him oriented toward life and prospects on the streets. When he found himself at Alcatraz, Robertson realized that he wasn’t going anywhere for a long time. And with time outside his cell limited to three twenty-minute meals, an eight-hour work assignment, and a few hours in the yard on weekends, he was faced with many hours of distraction-free time alone in his cell.