Alcatraz is an island located in San Francisco Bay. Historically, it had been used for various purposes prior to 1934. In 1934, in the midst of the Great Depression, Alcatraz Island became the home of a federal prison for some of the nation's most dangerous criminals. This prison was called Alcatraz, but was nicknamed "The Rock." Previously, it had been home to a military prison. Because the prison was located on an island, most of the staff members and their families lived on the premises.
The prison housed many famous convicts, including Al Capone and Machine Gun Kelly. Over the nearly thirty years that Alcatraz was a federal prison, there were multiple escape attempts. The most notable one occurred in 1962. The prison closed in 1963.