Alcatraz Screw: My Years As A Guard In America's Most Notorious Prison by George H. GregoryAlcatraz Screw: My Years As A Guard In America's Most Notorious Prison by George H. Gregory

Alcatraz Screw: My Years As A Guard In America's Most Notorious Prison

byGeorge H. Gregory

Paperback | June 1, 2002

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Alcatraz Screw is a firsthand account from a prison guard’s perspective of some of the most storied years at the infamous U.S. Penitentiary at Alcatraz. George Gregory began his career as a guard for the Federal Bureau of Prisons in 1940. Following his training, he was sent to the federal prison at Sandstone, Minnesota. A few years later he enlisted in the Marine Corps. Badly wounded at Iwo Jima, he returned to Sandstone after a long rehabilitation. When the Bureau of Prisons closed Sandstone in 1947, Gregory was transferred to Alcatraz, which had been a federal penitentiary since 1934.

For the next fifteen years, Gregory worked on “The Rock.” He takes the reader along on a correctional officer’s tour of duty, showing what it was like to pull a lonely, tedious night of sentry duty in the Road Tower, or witness illicit transactions in the clothing room, or forcibly quell a riot in the cell blocks. Gregory provides an insider’s account of the tenures of all four of Alcatraz’s wardens and their sometimes contradictory approaches to administering the institution. He knew and regularly interacted with such legendary inmates as Robert Stroud (the Birdman of Alcatraz) and George “Machine Gun” Kelly.

Without glamorizing or demonizing either the staff or the convicts, Alcatraz Screw provides a candid portrayal of corruption, drug abuse, and sexual practices, as well as efforts at reform and unrecorded acts of kindness. Various incidents in the memoir convey the fear, hatred, frustration, boredom, and unavoidable tension of being incarcerated. With the inclusion of maps and diagrams of Alcatraz Island, as well as photographs of inmates, officers, and the prison itself, this book offers insight into life at the notorious Alcatraz from an unprecedented perspective.
George H. Gregory was a correctional officer at the U.S. Penitentiary at Alcatraz from 1947 to 1962.
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Title:Alcatraz Screw: My Years As A Guard In America's Most Notorious PrisonFormat:PaperbackDimensions:252 pages, 9.2 × 6.1 × 0.78 inPublished:June 1, 2002Publisher:University Of Missouri PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0826213960

ISBN - 13:9780826213969

Reviews

Editorial Reviews

"George Gregory arrived at Alcatraz during a critical juncture in the institution's history. Only a year earlier, two officers and three inmates had been killed in the island prison's most violent upheaval—an escape gone awry, known as the `Alcatraz Blastout.' Then, one year after Gregory's arrival, the first warden at Alcatraz—the legendary James `Salt Water' Johnston—retired. And he was there at the end, as Alcatraz began the process of shutting down. In short, he saw it all—and he remembered it all."—John W. Roberts, from the Introduction