Hey everyone, your best friend Sara here! While COVID has locked us in, our imagination can still help us revisit all those lovely holidays! Welcome to my ‘Places with Sara‘ section
Folks, Sara here. I have decided. For my next vacation, I want to go to a prison. Don’t be shocked! For visiting, I mean.
Check this beautiful travelogue of Alcatraz Island by 8 year old Harshika Khanna from Kolkata and you will want to visit prison too!
Harshika is a student of Word Munchers.
During our last vacation to the U.S.A, we went to many museums and the one that fascinated me the most was the prison museum on Alcatraz Island.
We took a ferry to the island from San Francisco Bay. The rather large prison could be spotted from a distance. We were given a device with earphones attached to it, that would tell us facts about the prison.
I was really excited to explore what was there inside the prison, now converted into a museum.
As we entered, we came across some well-preserved jail cells, a library and some old pictures with information related to it. It was fascinating to see the reading material which was provided to the prisoners in those times.
There were provisions for outdoor sports as well as recreational activities, which clearly explained that the Government was much concerned about the well-being of their inmates. Dummies were placed inside the cells to give the tourists a real life feel of the prison.
There was a separate shower area which could accommodate over twenty prisoners at once. In the cells, they had towels, a sink, a table, a toilet seat and the bed. They had a large dining room were all the staff and the inmates would have three meals a day. All their rations were stored in a large granary. There was a special visitor room where the visitors could come and visit the inmates. However, they could only see each other through a glass window and communicate via an intercom. All their conversations were monitored by the officers.
Sometimes, prisoners tried to escape but none of them was successful because the prison was heavily guarded. Even if the prisoner managed to break through his cell, the only way out of the island was through a ship or air because the water was very cold for swimming and the prisoner would die of the strong water currents. All this information left me restless as I was wondering what kind of a life the prisoners were living here.
The prison had finally closed down in 1963 because it was too expensive to run. My visit to Alcatraz Island was very informative. The island has a very interesting past and everyone should visit this place once in their lifetime.