Prisoners in the Alcatraz recreation yard.
Here they could play games like baseball and handball, or just take the time to enjoy the little outdoor activity they were allotted. Wikimedia Commons
Inmates make the lonely walk back to their cells. Date unspecified.National Park Service
The Alcatraz mugshot of gangster and inmate Al Capone. 1934.
Capone was stabbed while serving time at the prison but lived on and completed his term there in 1939. Getty Images
A guard stands by the prison "snitch box," where prisoners could pass along information in exchange for favors. 1956. San Francisco Public Library
Press and spectators stand on the shore and view the carnage of the prison riots. 1946.Getty Images
Not all parts of life at Alcatraz were bleak. Here, the Alcatraz inmate band, complete with four saxophone players, two trumpets, a guitarist, and a trombonist, rehearses.
National Park Service
A view from behind the bars in a guard station with cell block B on the left and cell block C on the right. Wikimedia Commons
The prison menu didn't offer a lot of variety. Typically, a single meat, side, and dessert was the standard fare. 1956.San Francisco Public Library
Evidence, including a "death mask" of a slain guard, that was used in the trial of convicts who made a failed escape attempt from Alcatraz Prison. 1938.San Francisco Public Library
A dense covering of barbed wire looms above as a guard stands watch over the prison yard. 1962. Getty Images
A guard stands watch as prisoners enter the mess hall for a meal. 1955.National Park Service
Tags hang from the toes of Alcatraz escapees who didn't make it. 1946. San Francisco Public Library
The desolate and simple confines of a cell used for solitary confinement. Date unspecified.San Francisco Public Library
A guard examines part of the route used during the infamous escape of 1962. Bettmann/Contributor/Getty Images
A gas grenade burned the face of guard Ed Miller during the three-day riots of 1946.Getty Images
Dummy heads made of paper mache used as decoys in the 1962 escape. San Francisco Public Library
Inmates bake fresh bread in the prison kitchen. Date unspecified.National Park Service
Prior to becoming a federal prison, Alcatraz Island functioned as a military garrison.
Here, officers and ladies stand and sit on the dock. 1902. National Park Service
Military prisoners line up and await orders. 1902National Park Service
Prison life was full of long work hours. Inmates here spend the day working on weaving cargo nets. 1955.National Park Service
Mugshot of notorious Alcatraz inmate George "Machine Gun" Kelly.
He spent 17 years on Alcatraz as inmate number 117, before being transferred to Leavenworth Federal Penitentiary, where he would die in 1954. Wikimedia Commons
On the left, specators in San Francisco observe the smoke from rioting on Alcatraz Island in 1946.
On the right, a body is removed after the rioting, 1946.
San Francisco Public Library
One of the prison cells, with a paper mache decoy head, from which one of the inmates fled during the 1962 escape. National Park Service
Gangster Mickey Cohen sits in an automobile just before boarding a prison boat for his return to Alcatraz in 1962.
The Al Capone-associated mobster was serving a 15-year sentence for tax evasion. Getty Images
A prisoner works in the Alcatraz rubber shop. 1955. National Park Service
Alcatraz guard Royal C. Cline lies in the hospital after suffering injuries during an escape attempt. 1938.San Francisco Public Library
A rare celebratory event at the prison: A retirement party for Warden James A. Johnston. 1948. National Park Service
Prisoners learned trades and skills in prison so that they might contribute to society upon release.
Here, inmates sew pants. 1954. San Francisco Public Library
Al Capone's wife, Mamie, visits her husband at Alcatraz. 1938.Getty Images
A prison cook stands ready to serve inmates their meal on Christmas Day. Date unspecified.National Park Service
A guard examines a vent on the roof of the prison that three inmates came out of during their escape. 1962. San Francisco Public Library
The prisoner record for gangster Arthur "Doc" Barker from the warden's notebook. 1963. Wikimedia Commons
Alcatraz prisoner Clarence Anglin's FBI wanted poster for committing bank robbery. Anglin was one of the three inmates who participated in 1962's daring escape. 1960. National Park Service
Tools and other items used during the infamous Alcatraz escape of 1962, during which three men got away, never to be seen again. National Park Service
The warden's file on prisoner Joseph Soliwode, who was serving a life sentence for rape. 1934. Wikimedia Commons
A guard stands in the cell by the small escape hole that inmates used to begin their journey to breach the prison's walls. 1962. San Francisco Public Library
Marvin Hubbard, Bernard Paul Coy, and Clarence Carnes, the three inmates who started the riot of 1946. Getty Images
Sam Shockley (left) and Miran Thompson (right), prior to their incarceration at Alcatraz, who would later be charged with helping to start the 1946 riots. San Francisco Public Library
Prison guard C. D. Corwin receives medical attention after being wounded in the prison riot of 1946. San Francisco Public Library
Marine C. L. Buckner reads a newspaper article about the "Battle of Alcatraz" riot that he and his colleagues helped quell. 1946. San Francisco Public Library
Mugshot of Miran Thompson, an Alcatraz Prison convict who was placed in solitary confinement for his part in starting the three-day riot of 1946. San Francisco Public Library
Marine Major Albert Arsenault reports on his experience helping to quell the Alcatraz prison riot of 1946.San Francisco Public Library
Attempted escapees Clarence Carnes, Sam Shockley, and Miran Thompson. 1948.
Shockley and Thompson got the gas chamber for their failed escape that contributed to the 1946 riots. Carnes was shown mercy and given a life sentence.Wikimedia Commons
The remains of the prison sit on Alcatraz Island. 2017.Laurie/Flickr