Rules and Regulations
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Alcatraz: Inmate Regulations, 1956
Note: These "Institution Rules & Regulations" were in effect at the United States Penitentiary, Alcatraz, during Warden Paul J. Madigan's administration (1955-1961). They were issued to all inmates in the form of a typewritten booklet to be kept in the cell.
INMATE Reg. NUMBER, _________________
This set of Institution Regulations is issued to you as Institutional Equipment. You are required to keep it in your cell at all times.
- GOOD CONDUCT
- GOOD WORK RECORD
- GOOD CONDUCT RECORD & GOOD WORK RECORD
- STATUTORY GOOD TIME, MERITORIOUS GOOD TIME AND INDUSTRIAL GOOD TIME
- DISCIPLINARY ACTION
- TREATMENT UNIT
- PROSECUTION IN THE U.S. DISTRICT COURT
- FORFEITURE OR WITHHOLDING OF EARNED GOOD TIME, STATUTORY GOOD TIME OR INDUSTRIAL GOOD TIME
- RESTORATION OF FORFEITED OR WITHHELD GOOD TIME
- TRANSFER TO OTHER FEDERAL INSTITUTIONS
- RECOMMENDATION FOR CLEMENCY FOR MILITARY PRISONERS
- YOUR COMMITTED NAME & REGISTER NUMBER
- COMMENDATORY REPORTS
- DISCIPLINARY REPORTS
- ATTEMPTING TO BRIBE EMPLOYEES
- THREATENING, RIDICULING, OR ATTEMPTING TO INTIMIDATE OR ASSAULT OFFICERS, OFFICIALS, EMPLOYEES OR VISITORS
- LOAFING, LOITERING, VISITING OR UNAUTHORIZED ABSENCE FROM WORK
- YOUR CONSTRUCTIVE SUGGESTIONS OR LEGITIMATE COMPLAINTS
- INTERVIEW REQUEST SLIPS
- PRISONER'S TRUST FUND
- THE PRISONER'S MAIL BOX
- DAILY ROUTINES
- BATH ROOM RULES
- CELLHOUSE RULES
- CLASSIFICATION, PAROLE, EDUCATION & SOCIAL MATTERS
- DINING ROOM RULES
- HAIRCUTS & SHAVES
- MEDICAL ATTENTION
- MOVEMENT OF INMATES
- WORK REGULATIONS
- AUDITORIUM RULES
- YARD PRIVILEGES
- LEGAL WORK: USE OF TYPEWRITERS
- LIBRARY RULES
- MUSIC RULES
- RELIGIOUS SERVICES
- SPECIAL PURCHASES
- TOBACCO & SMOKING REGULATIONS
- GOOD TIME LAW
- GENERAL RULE
REGULATIONS FOR INMATES U.S.P., ALCATRAZ
This booklet is issued for the information and guidance of inmates of the U.S. Penitentiary, Alcatraz, California. It outlines the Institution's routines and explains what is expected of you in the matter of conduct and work. You are expected to learn and obey the rules and to perform your assigned work to the best of your ability.
1. GOOD CONDUCT means conducting yourself in a quiet and orderly manner and keeping your cell neat, clean and free from contraband. It means obeying the rules of the Institution and displaying a co-operative attitude. It also means obeying orders of Officials, Officers and other employees without delay or argument.
2. GOOD WORK RECORD means the reputation you establish as a willing, capable workman, doing your best at whatever work you are told to do.
3. YOUR GOOD CONDUCT RECORD AND YOUR GOOD WORK RECORD will be reviewed every time you are considered for work assignments, cell changes, and disciplinary action.
4. STATUTORY GOOD TIME, MERITORIOUS GOOD TIME AND INDUSTRIAL GOOD TIME are types of reduction in sentence which can be earned only by inmates who establish and keep a good conduct record and a good work record.
5. PRIVILEGES. You are entitled to food, clothing, shelter and medical attention. Anything else that you get is a privilege. You earn your privileges by conducting yourself properly. "Good Standing" is a term applied to inmates who have a good conduct record and a good work record and who are not undergoing disciplinary restrictions.
6. DISCIPLINARY ACTION may result in loss of some or all of your privileges and/or confinement in the Treatment Unit.
7. TREATMENT UNIT is the segregation section of the Institution where privileges may be restricted to a minimum.
8. PROSECUTION IN THE U.S. DISTRICT COURT in addition to Institutional disciplinary action may result if you commit any serious offense such as assault, escape, attempt to escape, rioting, destruction of government property, etc.
9. FORFEITURE OR WITHHOLDING OF EARNED GOOD TIME, STATUTORY OR INDUSTRIAL, in addition to disciplinary action and/or prosecution in the District Court, may result if you become involved in any serious misconduct.
10. RESTORATION OF FORFEITED OR WITHHELD GOOD TIME will not be recommended unless you can show at least one year of better than average good conduct and good work when you are called for your annual Classification Hearing.
11. TRANSFER TO OTHER FEDERAL INSTITUTIONS will not be recommended unless you can show a better than average good conduct record for several years at this Institution.
12. RECOMMENDATION FOR CLEMENCY FOR MILITARY PRISONERS will not be made unless they can show better than average good conduct and good work records for several years at this Institution.
13. YOUR COMMITTED NAME AND REGISTER NUMBER are used as a means of identification. You will be addressed by your surname (last name) only. Your register. number is also used as the laundry mark on your Institutional clothing.
14. COMMENDATORY REPORTS may be submitted by Officers who observe your behavior and find it better than average. Such reports are filed and help you to establish a good record.
15. DISCIPLINARY REPORTS may be submitted by Officers who observe your behavior and detect violations of the Institutional regulations. If you are interested in keeping a good record, you should conduct yourself according to the rules.
16. CONTRABAND. Anything found on your person, or in your cell, or at your work place, which was not Officially issued to you, or Officially approved and purchased by you, and Officially listed on your property card, will be classed as contraband. Possession of contraband of any sort is a serious offense and will result in disciplinary action. If you steal anything from other inmates or from employees, or from the Institution, you will be punished.
17. ATTEMPTING TO BRIBE EMPLOYEES by giving, or promising to give them anything, is a serious offense. You must not give or sell or receive or buy anything except through the Official channels.
18. THREATENING, RIDICULING, OR ATTEMPTING TO INTIMIDATE OR ASSAULT OFFICERS, OFFICIALS, EMPLOYEES OR VISITORS is a very serious offense.
19. TRADING, GAMBLING, SELLING, GIVING, OR LOANING your personal property or your government issue items or services, or contraband of any kind is a serious offense. You are expected to keep the things that are legitimately in your possession. If they are found in another inmate's possession, disciplinary action will result for both parties. If anything is stolen from you, report the loss to the Officials as soon as possible.
20. RECREATION. As a general rule, you will work eight hours a day, five days a week, with Saturdays, Sundays and Holidays devoted to recreation. Movies are shown twice each month. Exercise Yard activities include baseball, handball and various table games. Newly arrived inmates are kept in Quarantine Status for 30 days and are not allowed recreation during that period.
21. WORK. You are required to work at whatever you are told to do. Usually your first assignment will be to temporary maintenance jobs around the cellhouse. Other maintenance jobs include the Culinary Unit, the Clothing and Bath Room, the Library, and the Yard Detail. By doing good work on your maintenance assignment you earn Statutory Good Time. You may also qualify for additional Meritorious Good Time and/or pay, if your work and behavior are outstandingly good and are of outstanding value to the Institution. If you make a better than average work and conduct record while on your maintenance job, you may be considered for an assignment to a Federal Prison Industry Shop where you may earn Industrial Good Time and pay in addition to your Statutory Good Time.
22. LOAFING, LOITERING, VISITING, OR UNAUTHORIZED ABSENCE FROM WORK will result in disciplinary action, and may result in loss of your job, and withholding of, or forfeiture of, good time.
23. YOUR CONSTRUCTIVE SUGGESTIONS OR LEGITIMATE COMPLAINTS if made by you to the proper Officials, will receive careful consideration. However, if you make groundless complaints for the purpose of creating dis-satisfaction and/or stirring up trouble; or if you agitate' or rib' yourself or others into trouble, you will be subject to disciplinary action.
24. INTERVIEW REQUEST SLIPS may be obtained from the Cellhouse Officer. When you wish to ask an Official for information, for an interview to request some service or when you want to make a constructive suggestion or a legitimate complaint -- use an interview slip. Instructions are printed on the slips.
25. MONEY. You are not allowed to have money of any kind in your possession while in this institution. Use of cigarettes or other items as jail money' is forbidden. Your earnings and whatever funds you brought with you, or which may be sent to you by approved correspondents, will be kept on deposit for you in the Prisoner's Trust Fund.
26. PRISONER'S TRUST FUND is operated like a savings account in a bank, except that it does not draw interest. With the approval of the Associate Warden, you may authorize the withdrawal of funds from your account for legitimate purposes such as the payment of attorney's fees and/or purchase of text books and educational materials. You are required to save a part of what you earn, and may contribute part of your earnings to dependents.
27. THE PRISONER'S MAIL BOX in each Institution is designed to provide any inmate an opportunity to write directly, without inspection by institutional authorities, to the Director of the Bureau of Prisons, the Attorney General, the Parole Board, the Surgeon General, Federal Judges, Department of Justice Officials, and in the case of military prisoners to the Secretary of War or Navy, or the Judge Advocate General, or the Adjutant General, regarding any matter of importance to the individual, to the inmate group as a whole, or any matter of importance affecting the institution and its personnel or Officials. The Prisoner's Mail Box is open to all inmates regardless of their status. See Section #41.
- DAILY ROUTINE:
7:00 A.M. Weekdays . . .7:15 A.M. Saturdays, Sundays & Holidays:
Morning wake-up bell. See Section 30 for instructions in making bed, policing cell, etc.
7:20 A.M. Weekdays. . .7:50 A.M. Saturdays, Sundays & Holidays:
Count Bell. Stand up by your cell door, facing out, remain there until the bell signal sounds again, indicating the count is correct. Absolute silence must prevail during all counts.
7:30 A.M. Weekdays. . .7:50 A.M. Saturdays, Sundays & Holidays:
Breakfast. When your door opens come out promptly and proceed in single file to the Dining Room in a quiet orderly manner. Do not change places in line by moving forward or backward. You may carry books and magazines to the library exchange table but do not carry books or anything else to exchange with other inmates nor put anything in other inmates' cells.
The Officer at the tray-dispenser cart will direct you to file past the steam table to the right or left, as he sees fit, to balance the lines. You must follow his instructions without question. See Section #33 for other Dining Room Rules.
Upon returning to your cell after breakfast, tidy up your cell, placing all trash in your wastebasket. Place this basket outside the cell door at the first opportunity so that orderlies may empty it. If you leave the building for work or recreational activity, put on appropriate clothing. Caps are not worn inside the cellhouse at any time.
8:00 A.M. Weekdays: Outside Work Call.
Industries and other outside details will proceed in single file through the rear cellhouse door to the yard.
In rainy weather, all outside workers are called out by details. Remain in your cell until your detail is called, then proceed promptly to the West End of the cellhouse. Your detail officer will escort you as quickly as possible to your place of work.
In fair weather, or when it is not raining too hard, details will remain on the Yard until the Lieutenant gives the signal to line up. You will have a few minutes to smoke and converse. When the line-up bell rings, move promptly to your proper place in your detail and face the South wall. Smoking is not permitted between the Yard and your place of work. Your detail officer will give the signal to proceed through the rear gate to the Work Area. Move in single file.
Laundry workers will turn right at the ramp and enter the Laundry. Gardeners and incinerator operator will wait at the Garden Area Gate. If you work in a lower-level shop or outside, proceed to the lower level and stop at the designated lines. Form a column of Twos and await the signal from your detail Officer to proceed.
When you reach your place of work, change in to your work clothes and go about your work as directed by your detail Officer or Foreman.
Smoking is permitted in the shops except where there is some hazardous condition. Smoking is a privilege. Be very careful about putting matches and butts in the butt-cans.
8:25 A.M. Count Bell on Saturdays, Sundays & Holidays.
8:30 A.M. Saturdays -- Main Line Bath. (See Section #29)
9:25 A.M. Saturdays -- Count Bell.
9:30 A.M. Saturdays -- Yard. (See Sections #37 & #42)
8:30 A.M. Sundays -- Religious Services. (See Sections #40 & #48)
8:40 A.M. Sundays -- Yard.
8:30 A.M. Holidays -- Yard.
8:40 A.M. Weekdays: Inside details will proceed directly and quietly to their places of work. They will confine their activities strictly to their assigned duties and upon satisfactory completion of these duties will return directly and quietly to their cells.
Culinary Detail inmates have a special schedule of work and recreation hours.
11:35 A.M. Weekdays: Outside details will stop work, check in tools, wash, change clothing and prepare for return to the cellhouse.
11:45 A.M. Weekdays: Outside details leave shops on signal and proceed in column of twos to the cellhouse. Do not carry on loud and boisterous conversations. Do not jostle or indulge in horseplay with others.
YOU MAY BE STOPPED AND SEARCHED AT ANY TIME. DO NOT ATTEMPT TO CARRY CONTRABAND. .
11:50 A.M. Weekdays: COUNT BELL.
12:00 Noon. Saturdays, Sundays & Holidays -- Return to cellhouse from recreation Yard. Line up in Yard according to cell block and gallery area and proceed to the cellhouse on signal.
12:00 Noon. Weekdays: Dinner.
12:10 P.M. Saturdays, Sundays & Holidays: COUNT BELL.
12:15 P.M. Saturdays, Sundays & Holidays: Dinner.
12:30 P.M. COUNT BELL.
12:35 P.M. SICK CALL. See Section #36.
INTERVIEWS: You will be notified if you are scheduled for an interview with any Official. See Section #24.
1:00 P.M. Weekdays: Outside Work Call. Same as A.M. Routine.
1:00 P.M. Saturdays, Sundays & Holidays: COUNT BELL.
3:10 P.M. (TUESDAYS ONLY): Return to cellhouse for Tuesday bathline.
3:25 P.M. COUNT BELL. (Tuesday only).
3:30 P.M. Bath lines -- Tuesday Only.
3:30 P.M. Weekdays. (Other than Tuesday) Yard recreation period ends. Return from recreation area.
4:10 P.M. Stop work on outside details.
4:20 P.M. Outside details leave shops to cellhouse.
4:35 P.M. COUNT BELL.
4:40 P.M. Supper.
5:30 P.M. COUNT BELL. Final Lock-up Count.
SATURDAYS, SUNDAYS & HOLIDAYS:
3:45 P.M. Return from Yard.
3:55 P.M. COUNT BELL.
4:00 P.M. Supper.
4:40 P.M. COUNT BELL. Final Lock-up Count.
RECREATION PERIODS: Saturdays: 9:30 A.M. to 12:00 Noon: 1:15 P.M. to 3:40 P.M.
Sundays: 8:40 A.M. to 12:00 Noon: 1:15 P.M. to 3:40 P.M.
Holidays : 8:30 A.M. to 12:00 Noon: 1:15 P.M. to 3:40 P.M.
Movies are shown twice monthly on Sundays and Holidays in the afternoon.