I've no fondness for Dugout Doug who fired on the Bonus Marchers in Washington. However, I do give him credit where due.
Many of the escapes didn't actually make their breaks from the island but instead waited until assignment to work details at other posts; getaways were much easier from the mainland. the year 1877 was especially notable, when no fewer than nine prisoners escaped from work assignments at Point San Jose.
A young officer recalled one such escape attempt in his memoirs. Recently graduated from the Military Academy, the new lieutenant was spending a summer-long furlough with his family in San Francisco. "A prisoner engaged in work at Fort Mason, where we lived, had escaped. He was a burly fellow armed with a scythe, and great consternation reigned in the post... It was none of my business, but I had tracked trails too often with the Apaches not to pick up this one. His hiding place was easy to locate, and I had him covered before he had a chance to make a move. When I turned him over to the guard, he just spat at me and snarled, 'You damn West Pointers!'" - 2nd Lt. Douglas MacArthur, Class of '03.
The island mentioned is Alcatraz. Most folks don't know that Alcatraz was a military fort from the Civil War up until 1934. It served only 29 years as a federal prison and closed in 1963. However, most people remember "The Rock" as a prison where Al Capone or Robert Stroud (The Birdman of Alcatraz) were housed.