Orange is the New Tourist Trap: 7 Prisons as Attractions


By Jorge Rodriguez-Jimenez

Orange is the New Black's season two premieres on Netflix on Friday — will it whet your appetite for a prison tour?

Cultural touchstone Orange is the New Black returns for a second season on Friday. Prison life is terrible and torturous, and while OITNB captures that, it also makes jail-life seem somewhat exciting and sexy (yes, we're aware it's a TV show). For a dose of reality on what prison was really life in decades and centuries past, look no further at this list of one-time pokeys that now function as museums of horror. These prisons all have terryifying and fascinating stories that should help you stay on the straight and narrow.

Alcatraz Island, located in San Francisco, was a federal penitentiary from 1934-1963 and home to convicts such as Alphonse “Al” Capone, George “Machine Gun” Kelly and Mickey Cohen. This tourist attraction draws 1.3 million visitors a year. While widely known for being a federal prison, Alcatraz also served as a Civil War fortress, bird sanctuary, the first lighthouse of the West Coast, and the birthplace of the American Indian Red Power Movement. More information.

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