Where the voices of Alcatraz come to life...

Rules and Regulations

Page 3 of 3 | « Previous


Alcatraz: Inmate Regulations- Continued

33. DINING ROOM RULES: Meals are served three times a day in the dining room. Do not exceed the ration. Do not waste food. Do not carry food from the dining room.
Wear standard uniform. (See Section #32).
Conduct yourself in a quiet, orderly manner. You may converse in normal tones with persons near you. Boisterous conduct will not be tolerated in the dining room.
Observe the ration posted on the menu board and take all that you wish to eat within the allotted amounts, but you must eat all that you take.
You may go to the coffee urn on your side of the dining room only when no other inmate is there. Do not go to the urn for the purpose of visiting with others.
Do not pass or exchange food, cigarettes, notes or any other items anywhere in the dining room.
You will be given ample time to eat but no loitering will be permitted.
Shortages of silverware at the table must be reported to the Officer immediately before beginning to eat.
After you have finished eating, place your silverware in the right hand compartment of your tray. Empty bread, cake or pie trays and pitchers will be passed to the end of the table toward the center of the Dining Room. Inmates seated at that end of the table will arrange them for inspection by the officer assigned to the table.
When all inmates on a table have finished eating, the inspecting Officer will give the signal to rise and leave the dining room. Proceed in single file directly to your cell. Enter your cell without delay. Do not loiter or visit on the galleries. Do not enter another inmate's cell at any time. Cell door will be locked as soon as you enter your cell.

34. HAIRCUTS AND SHAVES: Haircuts will be of regulation type. You are not permitted to wear your hair in an unusual manner or have any special haircut except as authorized by the Associate Warden.
You will be placed on call for a haircut approximately every three weeks. You will be told when you are scheduled for it.

You may be allowed to go to the Recreation Yard after your haircut if you are in good standing. You will shave in your cell. Razor blades are exchanged each Saturday by the Evening Watch Officer. Two new blades are issued in exchange for your two old blades. Failure to account for both of your blades at any time will result in a disciplinary report. Loss of a razor blade must be reported to the Cellhouse Officer immediately. Do not wait until issue night to report the loss. You must be clean shaven at all times. No special beards, mustaches or goatees are allowed.

35. INTERVIEWS: If you wish an interview with the Warden, Associate Warden, Captain, or other Official, submit a written request slip stating briefly what you wish to discuss and give the request slip to the Cellhouse Officer. You will be notified when to remain in your cell for the interview.

36. MEDICAL ATTENTION: Medical attention is available to all inmates. A member of the Hospital Staff conducts a daily Sick-Call line in the Cellhouse at about 12:30 P.M. To attend sick-call, proceed directly to the West End of the Cellhouse and stand quietly in line until called. After consultation, return directly to your cell. Do not loiter or visit on the gallery. If you become ill at any time, notify an Officer and you will receive medical attention. Do not make unnecessary disturbances. When you receive a medical lay-in, you will remain in your cell except for religious services, meals and movies. If you are notified by the Medical Officer at sick-call to remain in your cell for Hospital call-out, you must do so. You are allowed to keep in your cell only those medications issued to you by the Hospital Staff. Empty and unused bottles are to be returned to the West End desk. No medications will be kept in your cell longer than 30 days.

37. MOVEMENT OF INMATES: All inmate movements will be by block and galleries, to yard, work, meals, sick-line, band room and bathline. Movements will be from cells to West End of the Cellhouse and then to destination. Movements to picture shows and Religious Services will be from cells to East End of cellhouse and then to Auditorium. All movements from yard will be by galleries. Inmates will line up by cellblocks and galleries in the designated areas on the yard and proceed to the cellhouse as called by the Yard Officer. While awaiting the signal for your gallery to come in, do not wander around in other gallery lines, or indulge in scuffling or jostling with others. Industries and other "outside" details will return tn the cellhouse without lining-up in the yard.

38. SUPPLIES: Toilet tissue, matches, soap, cleanser, etc., will be issued on Tuesdays and Saturdays during
bathlines. Writing paper and envelopes are issued only on Tuesdays. Toothpowder will be issued on either of the bathdays in exchange for your empty container. Toothbrushes, combs and fingernail clippers will be issued by the Clothing Room Officer, after a proper request slip has been submitted. Your old item must be exchanged for the new item.

39. WORK REGULATIONS: If you are assigned to an Industries shop, go to your place of work as stated in Section #28. Do not leave your assigned station in the shop without permission from your Forernan or Officer.
Work assignments are made by the Associate Warden. If you wish a work assignment or re-assignment, send a request slip to the Associate Warden and state your experience in the type of work you are requesting. Send a separate slip with this information for each job application. Work changes will not be made for trivial reasons. Your request will be considered only on the basis of merit, and then only when a vacancy exists.

When in need of advice regarding your work or work assignment, consult the Associate Warden by interview slip.
The regular work-reports submitted by your superiors, supervisors, foremen, shop Officer or other Official are taken into consideration at all hearings for other matters. Special attention is paid to work reports at your hearings before Board meetings for consideration of restoration of forfeited good-time, transfer, parole reports, clemency and/or work changes.

Do not take issue with an Officer, foreman, supervisor or civilian employee on account of any order he may issue to you. If it should seem to you that such person is exceeding his authority or abusing his office, do not argue. Follow his instructions and report the matter to the Associate Warden after the duty is performed.
Smoking is permitted in designated areas. If in doubt, ask your foreman or Officer.
Do not carry any unauthorized articles to or from your place of work.
Do not carry work clothing from the work area to the cellhouse.
Removing tools or other articles from your work area is forbidden. Do not loan any tools or other work material to any inmate without the express approval of your superiors.
Immediately report any injury received while at work. If you become ill, report to your foreman.
Do not manufacture any unauthorized or contraband article, nor perform any unauthorized service for yourself or for any other inmate. Do not assist or interfere with another inmate's work except as directed by an Officer or foreman.

40. AUDITORIUM RULES: When preparing to attend religious services or movies, in the Auditorium, you must remove everything from your pockets except your handkerchief and eyeglasses and eyeglass case. All other items will be classed as contraband. There is no smoking permitted in the Auditorium and you are not allowed to wear or carry, caps, coats, jackets, cushions, blankets or pillows. Use the East-End cellhouse stairs when going to and from the Auditorium. Walk quietly and be co-operative if and when you are searched for contraband. Upon arrival at the Auditorium, take the seat assigned. If you have poor vision, and wish to sit in the front seats tell the Officer who is directing the seating. After being seated, remain in your seat until the Officer directs you to leave. Loud talking, pushing or boisterous conduct is forbidden. In general, you are expected to conduct yourself in an orderly manner, with proper consideration for the rights of others.

Leaving the Auditorium before the end of the program is permitted only in emergencies. Quietly notify the Officer in charge and he will permit you to leave. You will not be able to return to the Auditorium. The privilege of attending Religious Services and movies is important to you. This privilege may be withdrawn for violation of the rules.

41. CORRESPONDENCE: Upon entrance to the institution, each inmate will be given a form to fill out, listing the persons with whom he wishes permission to correspond. After approval of the list, inmates may correspond only with the approved correspondents. You will refrain from discussing other inmates or institutional affairs. Violent or abusive letters will not be mailed. Correspondence is limited to two (2) outgoing and seven (7) incoming letters a week. All regular inmate mail will be collected by the evening watch Officer in the cellhouse. Writing materials are issued during the Tuesday P.M. bathline, at the supply table in the clothing room.

SEALED CORRESPONDENCE: As stated in Section 27, sealed correspondence may be addressed to certain Officials. Such letters may be sealed and placed in the special mail box which is located at the West End of the Cellhouse. You are not required to place any identifying information on the envelope and it will be forwarded to the Bureau without inspection.

SPECIAL HOLIDAY MAIL: In addition to your regular mail privileges you will be allowed to send your Mother an extra letter on Mother's Day. At Christmas time you will be allowed to mail (4) Christmas Cards. You may receive greeting cards only on the following occasions: Christmas, Easter, Father's Day and your birthday.
Inmates will not ask Officers, Officials or civilians to write or post letters for them or receive mail through Officers, Civilians or Officials except when acting in their official capacity.

  1. YARD PRIVILEGES: Exercise yard rules:
All inmates in good standing are allowed the yard privilege on Saturdays, Sundays, and Holidays, if the weather permits. In addition, inmates who have completed their assigned tasks, or who have been "laid in" by detail foremen, or who have been "held in" for haircut, medical attention, interview or other Official business, may be allowed the yard privilege on weekday afternoons if they are otherwise eligible.
Inmates who are "restricted" or who are in "idle" status because they have quit a job, or refused a job, or were removed from a job for disciplinary reasons, are not eligible for weekday afternoon yard.
Inmates held in for dental or hospital call may have yard after their appointments, subject to the Doctor's approval.
Inmates using cushions, tables or other institutional athletic equipment must return the same to the metal detector when recreation period is over.

No gambling is allowed. You may play chess, checkers or backgammon. Authorized card games are Hearts, Cribbage, and dominoes. No card game will be allowed if it is a "draw" type of game or does not use the full deck on the deal.

All card tables will be set up behind the screens at the West-End of the yard. All games will cease immediately when the bell rings for the termination of the yard period. No loitering will be permitted to finish uncompleted hands or games.

43. USE OF TYPEWRITERS: You are permitted to work on your own case or to hire a lawyer to represent you. A typewriter is available if you are able to type. Apply to the Associate Warden for permission. You are not permitted to work on another inmate's case or to give another innate legal advice or instructions. After you obtain permission to use the typewriter, you will be notified when a machine is available. You will bring all materials to "A" Block where they will be inspected. All typing material, books, papers, etc., will remain in "A" Block until the typing has been completed. All papers will be signed and labeled. One copy of all papers typed shall be made for the Institution records. After the Associate Warden has inspected the papers, your copy will be returned to you.

44. LIBRARY RULES: Each cell contains a catalog which lists all of the books contained in the library. If you do not have a library catalog or library card, address a request to the Librarian to obtain one. Fill out this card with your name, register number and cell location.

(1) To request delivery of library books to your cell, refer to the catalog for the "Call" or identification number of the book you want and place that number on your library card. Place the card on the table at the entrance to the dining room on your way to breakfast. Return books in the same manner.
(2) The library books you request are checked out to you and must be returned within the time limit shown on the DATE-DUE slip inside the back cover of the book. Failure to return the book to the library prior to or on the date due, may result in forfeiture of library privileges.
(3) You are permitted to have not more than three CIRCULATING library books in your cell at one time. Keep your books and magazines neatly arranged on the shelf in the cell when they are not being read.
(4) In addition to the circulating books, you are permitted to have a Bible, Dictionary and study books up to a maximum of twelve (12) in your cell at one time. This includes all books, personal, library and study course books. Books beyond the maximum of 12 will be confiscated.
A maximum of 24 pamphlets may be kept in your cell at one time. Pamphlets beyond this maximum will be confiscated.
(5) Handle library books carefully. Many of the worn out books, especially fiction books, can not be replaced since they are out of print. You are cautioned not to loan or exchange books with other inmates or to toss books to other tiers or the flag. Defacement, mutilation or destruction of books will be cause for disciplinary action even to the extent of forfeiture of good time.

MAGAZINES: The library subscribes to a few magazines such as the National Geographic and these magazines can be obtained from the library, not by using the library card, but by submitting a request form. Library magazines must be handled with care and promptly returned to the library for redistribution. Do not remove articles or pictures.
You are permitted to purchase (by subscription) not more than eight (8) magazines from the approved list. Requests for the purchase of magazines are submitted to the Mail Censor using the regular request slip. When magazines arrive at the institution, the mail Censor marks your number on them and forwards them to the Library for distribution. Magazines are withdrawn from circulation 30 days after delivery.

MOVIES: Movies are shown twice monthly for inmates in good standing. See the AUDITORIUM RULES in Section #40.

46. MUSIC RULES: Musical instruments may be purchased if approved by the Associate Warden.
Guitars and other stringed instruments may be played in the cellhouse in a QUIET manner only between the hours of 5:30 P.M. and 7:00 P.M. No singing or whistling accompaniments will be tolerated. Any instrument which is played in an unauthorized place, manner, or time will be confiscated and the inmate placed on a disciplinary report.
Wind instruments, drums and pianos will be played in the band or Orchestra Rooms on Saturdays, Sundays and Holidays. At no time will you play any wind instrument in the cellhouse.
Permission to play instruments in the Band, Orchestra or bathrooms may be granted by the Associate Warden to inmates in good standing. The Band room is a privilege and permission to play there must be requested from the Associate Warden.
A limited number of inmates may be allowed to take musical instruments to and from the recreation yard. Permission must first be obtained from the Associate Warden.
No inmate on "idle" status or on "report" or restricted will be allowed to use the Band Room, Orchestra Room or to take instruments to the yard.
An inmate whose musical privileges have been restricted or revoked shall be removed from all musical lists, and his instrument stored in "A" Block until otherwise authorized by the Associate Warden.
No inmate is allowed to give, sell, trade, exchange, gamble, loan or otherwise dispose of his personal or institutional instrument or to receive such from another inmate.
Institutional instruments may be loaned to inmates in good standing upon the approval of the Associate Warden.
All instruments will be listed on personal property cards. Institutional instruments shall be listed as "On Loan" from the institution, together with the date of the loan and the identification number of the instrument. Surplus parts for musical instruments together with and including extra sets of guitar strings shall be kept in "A" Block. Guitar strings shall be purchased in the regular manner and stored in "A" Block until needed. An old set of strings must be turned in to the cellhouse Officer to draw a new set.

47. RADIO: Radio programs are carefully selected for the enjoyment of all concerned. Protect your radio privileges by conducting yourself properly with consideration for the rights of other inmates during broadcasts.
You are issued a radio headset on the signing of a receipt for the same. Do not tamper with your radio outlets, phones, or other equipment. If they do not work properly, notify the cellhouse Officer quietly. Your headsets are of a "tamper-proof" type. Evidence of tampering with any part of your radio equipment will result in a disciplinary report.
The operator of the radio is not in the cellhouse. Do not shout any instructions, advice or abuse.
Programs are scheduled for the following hours:
Weekdays: 6:00 PM to 9:30 PM
Loud laughter, yelling, cheering or clapping will not be tolerated. Your headset must be kept at the rear of the cell when you are out. Do not leave your headset plugged-in when you leave the cell. Headsets found plugged-in or hanging on the outlet box will be picked up.

48. RELIGIOUS SERVICES: Catholic and Protestant Services are held regularly on Sundays in the Chapel. Jewish Services are held on appropriate occasions. Religious advice and counsel are available by sending a request slip to the Chaplain. The menu board in the dining room will indicate the schedule of the Religious Services.
Regular Auditorium Rules will be observed during all Services. See Section #40 for Auditorium Rules.

49. SPECIAL PURCHASES: There is no commissary at Alcatraz. The institution supplies all your needs. You are not allowed to have anything sent to you from home, friends or relatives. You may be allowed to purchase certain items such as text books, correspondence courses, musical instruments, or magazine subscriptions. All such purchases must be listed on your property card by the cellhouse Officer.
After your purchase request is approved, you must sign a withdrawal slip and return it to the cellhouse Officer. If you receive only a part of what was signed for on this withdrawal slip, the balance of the money will be returned to your account. Only those items actually received are charged to you.
All purchases will be entered on your property card. No bartering, trading or giving as a gift of any purchase is allowed. You are not permitted to loan any items to any other inmate nor to borrow from another inmate.

50. TOBACCO AND SMOKING REGULATIONS: Pipe and cigarette tobacco is available from the dispensers at the West-End of the cellhouse. Take what you need for immediate use, not to exceed six packs altogether. Don't hoard tobacco. Don't waste tobacco.
Cigarettes: One pack of cigarettes may be issued to each inmate in good standing, each Monday, Wednesday and Friday evening. Inmates who are restricted or on report will not receive cigarettes. You are not permitted to have more than 3 packs (60 cigarettes) at any one time. If you are found`to have in excess of 60 cigarettes at any one time, all will be confiscated and you will be placed on a disciplinary report.
Matches: Matches and cigarette papers are distributed during bathlines. Do not accumulate more than 10 books of matches nor more than two of the 150-paper size books of cigarette papers.
Smoking: Smoking regulations vary for different areas. If in doubt, ask your foreman or Officer. No smoking is permitted in the Cellhouse at any time except within the cells, library or "A" Block. Smoking is not permitted in the dining room or kitchen except for certain areas assigned for kitchen workers. Smoking is permitted in the yard but not between the yard and your place of work.

51. VISITS: You are allowed to receive one visit each month from members of your immediate family or other persons approved by the Warden. Visiting hours are approximately 1:30 PM to 3:10 PM weekdays.
In all personal visits you will confine your talk to personal matters and refrain from discussing other inmates, Institutional matters, etc.
Visits with your Attorney of record may be arranged through the office of the Associate Warden.

  1. THE GOOD TIME LAW: Revised Title 18 of the United States Code, effective September 1, 1948, provides in Section 4161 as follows:
"Each prisoner convicted of an offense against the United States and confined in a penal or correctional institution for a definite term other than for life, whose record of conduct shows that he has faithfully observed all the rules and has not been subjected to punishment, shall be entitled to a deduction from the term of his sentence beginning with the day on which the sentence commences to run, to be credited as earned and computed monthly as follows:
Five days for each month, if the sentence is not less than six months and not more than one year.
Six days for each month, if the sentence is more than one year and less than three years.
Seven days for each month, if the sentence is not less than three years and less than five years.
Eight days for each month, if the sentence is not less than five years and less than ten years.
Ten days for each month, if the sentence is ten years or more.
When two or more consecutive sentences are to be served, the aggregate of the several sentences shall be the basis upon which the deduction shall be computed."
Section 4165 provides as follows:
"If during the term of imprisonment a prisoner commits any offense or violates the rules of the institution, all or any part of his earned good time may be forfeited."
Section 4l66 provides as follows:
"The Attorney General may restore any forfeited or lost good time or such portion thereof as he deems proper upon recommendation of the Director of the Bureau of Prisons."

53. GENERAL RULE: Though not mentioned in these rules, any disorder, act or neglect to the prejudice of good order and discipline, and any conduct which disturbs the orderly routine of the institution shall be taken cognizance of by the Warden or his representative, according to the nature and degree of the offense, and punished at the discretion of the Warden or other lawful authority.