By David Ward, Gene Kassebaum
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Additional info for Alcatraz: The Gangster Years
This task, which involved integrating information drawn from three federal agencies, proved to be of such a massive scale that we soon realized that we could not complete it with the funds available from NIJ. Early experience determined that it took twelve hours or more to code the numerous items covering the personal life, criminal and prison careers, and postrelease experiences of one prisoner. Consequently, using every third file from the total of 1,546 files, we created a sample of 508 men whose records would be systematically coded.
During a series of interviews he shared his own recollections of major policy issues, problems and incidents on the island, his personal contact with several dozen prisoners, and the continuing debate over the role of Alcatraz within the Bureau of Prisons during the three decades when the prison was his responsibility. During meetings at his home, Mr. Bennett gave me documents, reports, and photographs—most of them marked “Directors Copy”—as well as several chapters he had drafted for a book he contemplated writing about Alcatraz.
Were shipped to the Archives Division of the University of Minnesota Library, where supervisor Maxine Clapp arranged for their storage in a private, secure room. Ms. Clapp advised me and other members of the research staff on the proper care of aging records. Rubber bands that were cutting into folders were removed; crumbling newspaper and magazine articles and torn pages were copied to avoid further handling of fragile paper. Records from the federal prisons in which the inmates served different parts of their sentences, in addition to their time at Alcatraz, were brought together and the entire collection was organized by Alcatraz commitment number.
Alcatraz: The Gangster Years by David Ward, Gene Kassebaum