DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE
June 18, 1942
TO: THE MILITARY PERSONNEL ON ALCATRAZ ISLAND
FROM: JAMES A. JOHNSTON, WARDEN
We are glad to have you on the Island and to be able to cooperate with you in the extremely important task of protecting San Francisco Harbor. We will, therefore, do everything possible to make your stay here as pleasant as possible. It will be helpful to us and to you, however, if you will bear in mind our problems and responsibilities while you are assigned to your present station.
First of all, you should remember that you are now stationed at a point where the utmost vigilence and alertness is required at all times. In addition to the responsibilities you have as a member of the military contingent, you also should realize that the inmates of the Alcatraz Penitentiary are a specially selected group requiring strict discipline and special routine to insure safe control and custody. Many of them are continually looking for weak links in the Government's prison service and that they will therefore be continually watching you and your actions in the hope of discovering some way by which they may effect their escape or embarass the Government. The safety of the institution, of the personnel, and your fellows, may depend upon your alertness and awareness of the new responsibilities which devolve upon you in your present assignment.
To discharge these responsibilities properly, you must use extreme care in seeing that by no chance tools, guns, knives, ammunition, or other articles which could possibly be used in an escape or a riot get into the possession of the inmates. If by any mischance you should have any reason to believe that possibly some contraband articles had fallen into the hands of the inmates, it should be reported immediately to the officer in charge of your detail. Also, you should not discuss under any circumstances where you are assigned at present. Friends of inmates of this institution may hear of your present post of duty and may importune you to aid them in bringing a message into the institution or make some contact for them with the prisoners. Furnishing general or specific information about the institution or inmates is strictly forbidden.
Your commanding officer regularly confers with the Warden and the Associate Warden, and any information which you think should be brought to our attention can be discussed at that time.
It is possible that while you are here at the institution some inmate may make an effort to escape or some emergency may arise. In such an event, the siren will be sounded and you will be expected to follow carefully the attached instructions. The institutional officers will handle the situation and you will not be expected to participate, and you will not be expected to take any action whatsoever unless given the direct order by your superior in command. All problems arising during an escape attempt, riot, or other emergency arising in the institution will be handled entirely by the institutional officers. Fire call and whistle signals relating to locations are posted in quarters near gun stations for your information.
J.A. JOHNSTON, WARDEN
DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE
June 18, 1942
REGULATIONS FOR GUN CREWS ON DUTY AT ALCATRAZ
These regulations will be kept posted at each gun position. When in doubt as to any regulations, ask the officer in command or a guard if one is available near your position.
[NARA-SAN BRUNO:RG-129:ADMINISTRATIVE FILES:G-M SAFETY - AIR RAIDS AND BLACKOUTS]