Everything You Need to Escape from Alcatraz

Exactly 80 years ago today, Alcatraz Federal Penitentiary officially opened its gates to some of America's most violently incorrigible criminals—after all, it was the most escape-proof prison ever built. Escape-proof, that is, for everyone except three prisoners in 1962 and their trusty arsenal of brilliant,… » 8/11/14 1:20pm 8/11/14 1:20pm

Pistol Keys Were Once the Last Line of Defense For Prison Guards

Long before prison guards started carrying tasers, tear gas, and other non-lethal deterrents, they apparently relied on these cell door keys that also functioned as tiny one-shot pistols. They probably weren't lethal, but there's no doubt they packed enough of a punch to make an inmate very uncomfortable if they tried… » 8/22/13 5:22pm 8/22/13 5:22pm

Should Architects Boycott Building "Supermax" Prisons?

There’s no question that solitary confinement—the nebulous, undefined, and largely undocumented practice that Amnesty International, the NYCLU, and the UN call torture—can cause horrific psychological damage to prisoners. But are the architects who build these structures responsible for them? » 6/27/13 10:35am 6/27/13 10:35am