1928 - Alderson High School - 1968


F.R.W. Memories
A Personal Documentary of Alderson Federal Prison for Women

by John McCurdy

John entered the Federal Prison Service at Ashland, Kentucky in the spring of 1954. In the fall of 1954 he was transferred to Alderson as a Correctional Officer. He became a Counselor in 1970. In 1975 he transferred to the federal prison in Petersburg, Virginia as the Staff Training Coordinator. Because of the nearness to Washington, he was often called to fill a post in DC temporarily. He also did a lot of traveling to other institutions around the USA doing audits of their training programs. He was an Adjunct Instructor at the FBI National Academy in Quantico, as well as the US Navy in the Norfolk area and the Prince George Police Academy in Virginia. He returned to Alderson as a Lieutenant in early 1978 and I retired in January of 1980.

Shortly after retirement John was asked by Pinkerton's Detective Agency to design the program for guarding Federal Prisoners who were confined to public hospitals. He supervised the Program for them for about 7 years and after a years hiatus started the McCurdy Security Service and bid for the contract with Alderson Prison, which he kept until the prisons mission changed to a camp. While doing it he was asked, if he worked on locks, and that seemed like something he would enjoy and so after a few correspondence courses and buying some tools John began a new career, one that continue on a somewhat limited scale twenty plus years later.

As you can see, this was more than long enough  to document some history and develop opinions of what was going on in the prison systems during that time. In this series, John may state opinions that some may not agree with. It is not the Aldersonian's purpose to present articles of disagreement, but to present one of interest to the community.