programs were offered in the mainland prisons, too, ensuring their inclusion in the prison of all prisons helped to keep the inmates occupied. Johnston knew that bored inmates cause trouble. Providing opportunities for their personal growth also provided them with potential if they were to outlive their prison sentences. Finally, although the cells were tiny—six feet by nine feet—each provided its own toilet, sink, bed, and shelf. Having your own space didn’t just make life safer, it made it more enjoyable. The warden provided good food, too. Instead of standard prison fare, his prison served tasty meals of high-quality food that you could not get in other prisons. To top it all off, prisoners could only take hot showers in Alcatraz Prison. Most prisons had cold water, but Johnston realized that cold-water showers could allow inmates to desensitize themselves to the waters of San Francisco Bay. Johnston designed all of these amenities to try to quell uprisings. Other programs also sprang up to help reform, or at least control, the prison population, which usually consisted of 260 to 275 inmates, approximately one percent of the federal inmate population at the time. Prisoners could check books out of the island’s library. They

Inmates working in the sewing room. Prisoners were encouraged to work.



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