San Quentin Prison

San Quentin State Prison opened in 1852 in California. Because of its imposing structure, it was sometimes called the “Bastille by the Bay.”

View of the new California state prison at San Quentin Point, 1910

San Quentin Prison

The photographs below capture the Female Department at San Quentin Prison at the turn of the 20th century. Laura Scott would have been incarcerated with up to 30 other female prisoners at any one time. They were vastly outnumbered by male prisoners who numbered over 16,000.

San Quentin Female Department

Courtyard of the Female Department, San Quentin 1905 (Rear View)

Courtyard of Women’s Prison, San Quentin, circa 1910-1915, rear view

A cell in the female department of San Quentin (1905)