When Did Alcatraz Close?


Quick Answer

Alcatraz closed on March 21, 1963. It had been under operation for 29 years and mainly closed due to high maintenance costs. Its isolation was the biggest expense, because all supplies, including roughly 1 million gallons of fresh water weekly, had to be transported to Alcatraz.

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Full Answer

Alcatraz was almost three times more expensive to maintain than other federal prisons. The inmate population ranged from 260 to 275, never reaching the full capacity of 336 inmates. Al Capone, George Kelly and Alvin Karpis were some of the most notable Alcatraz inmates. However, the typical prisoner was someone who broke prison rules at other facilities, acted out violently and posed a risk of escape.

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