Alcatraz Island --a 22 acre Island located off the shore of San Francisco-- has served as a military base, high security prison, and Native American Occupation. A quick ferrey from the wharf, you can easily tour the Island (just make sure you get your tickets in advanced, and bring a sweater)!
Privileges: "You are entitled to food, clothing, shelter, and medical attention. Anything else that you get is a privilege. You earn your privilges by conducting yourself properly."
If you didn't behave you went to an isolation room, basically the same thing but it's pitch-black and you're not allowed out of your cell.
Being a high security prison full of dangerous criminals, there were several escape attempts. They claim that nobody ever successfully escaped. As the three prisoners that dug through the walls with a makeshift drill made out of a vacuum and spoons are said to have been lost at sea. That or there's a rumor they lived their lives in some spanish-speaking country. MythBusters investigated this myth, yep, it's possible!
The other notable escape is known as the Battle of Alcatraz. They managed to get a hold of a gun, and kept the guards in their way captive. Security finally cornered the convicts, when they dropped grenades into areas where they thought the convicts were. Two days later, guards found the dead bodies of three of the convicts. The above picture is in memory of one of the guards who risked his life fufilling his duty.
After 29 years of running, budget cuts caused the Prison to close. There were many ideas of things to do with the Island, including making another Statue of Liberty, but there was a time when Native Americans protested on the Island. They used it as a symbol of their struggle. In 1972 Alcatraz became a National Park, a place for many of us to spend our money and learn about the place where Al Capone and Bird Man once resided!
From the Island you can see a beautiful view of the San Francisco skyline.