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Alcatraz not escape proof but is strong

By United Press

SAN FRANCISCO (U.P.) -- Alcatraz Island, for years a military prison in San Francisco Bay and now used by the Federal government for incarceration of its "toughest" prisoners, is not considered escape proof, but is considered a "very strong prison."

The term was applied to the new Federal penitentiary by Attorney General Homer S. Cummings on a recent inspection tour. Cummings commented on the fact that "Babe" Scott, high school girl, and several other young feminine swimmers celebrated announcement of the government's prison plan by swimming to or from the island.

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Cummings laughed as he compared the feats of the swimmers to an attempt by a prisoner to escape.

The Attorney General pointed out that the girls were accomplished swimmers, were in training and were given every possible aid by friends accompanying them in boats. He said that a federal swimmer paddling the distance of approximately a half mile to shore would not be bolstered by sips of hot coffee and bites from sandwiches. The currents in the bay and around the island are swift and dangerous, Cummings said. He said any prison surrounded on all sides by deep and cold water must be considered stronger than the average.

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