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Crime History: First prisoners enter Federal Industrial Institution for Women

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Local,Crime,Scott McCabe

On this day, April 30, in 1927, the first three prisoners entered the first federal prison for women in Alderson, W.Va.

The Federal Industrial Institution for Women was opened officially in 1928 to reform the wives, girlfriends, mothers and sisters who harbored the gangsters from the Prohibition era.

Built on 500 acres of rolling hills, the prison looks like a college campus.

Today is it called Federal Prison Camp, Alderson and remains a minimum-security prison for women. Its nickname is Camp Cupcake.

Noted prisoners have included World War II propagandists Tokyo Rose and Axis Sally, jazz great Billie Holiday for heroin possession, Manson family member Lynette "Squeaky" Fromme for an assassination attempt on President Ford and Martha Stewart for lying about insider trading.

- Scott McCabe

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