Each day we saw the outside world in all its splendour, and each day that view served as a reminder that we had wasted and ruined our lives. Jim Quillen, number 586: a runaway, problem child and petty thief, was jailed several times before his 20th birthday. In August 1942 after another botched burglary attempt, he was arrested on the run and sentenced to imprisonment on Alcatraz island. Through his many adventures across the US landscape, Jim Quillen reminds us of the stark reality the Depression years brought, and the unforgiving rule by which society and the State punished its people, what happened in 1946 during the bloody riot between the inmates and prison guards. As a personal friend of most of the participants involved in the 46 hour stand-off, Jim Quillen breaks down the myths of Bob Stroud 'The Birdman' and tells us in sanguine detail what really happened that day. Imprisoned for 10 years Jim Quillen reflects on life, and shares his journey of surviving Alcatraz; a place designed to 'break inmates physically, mentally and spiritually' and its cruel realities, dangerous alliances and the hard road that led him back to freedom.