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Alcatraz To Close Next Year

July 3, 1962 - Alcatraz, the Federal prison on an island in San Francisco Bay, will begin closing next year. James V. Bennett (pictured), director of the Bureau of Prisons, said today that the first transfer of prisoners will begin when the new Federal prison at Marion, Ill., is completed next year. Federal authorities regard Alcatraz as obsolete and unworthy of expensive overhaul. “It would cost a lot of money to put it in tip-top shape,” Mr. Bennett said, “and we have serious doubts that spending that much money would be justified.” Alcatraz was first used as a prison of the Federal Bureau of Prisons in August 1934. There are now 269 prisoners at Alcatraz. Prisoners not sent to Marion will be transferred to other Federal prisons, including those Leavenworth, Kans., and Atlanta.

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