This aerial photograph shows the location of the major inmate clubs and outdoor areas at the Washington State Penitentiary in 1978/1979. The Lifers held their banquets in Lifers’ Park; the Bikers and Confederated Indian Tribes held theirs in the Big Yard. The BPFU (Black Prisoners Forum Unlimited) held theirs in a grassy area to the west of their club. Blood Alley ran north/south next to Central Control, the BPFU, and Four/Five Wing. By 1978, the roof over Blood Alley had been removed.

Site plan of the Washington State Penitentiary in 1978 showing location of clubs and other inmate areas


  1. Always was curious as to where Blood Alley was exactly when it still was there. I was in Washington State Prisons from 2009-end of 2012 and spent most the time at the penitentiary but mostly in the new closed custody complex(West Complex) and new IMU-South. My last month I was sent behind the walls of the old main institution to 6 wing but at the time it had just been converted to a minimum security camp. Ive read Concrete Mama and other books about or mentioning the penitentiary and its history and was in a way kinda glad I was able to see the old institution in person and stay there my last month before my release to see the places I had read about so much in the books and articles. Never was able to find out where blood alley really was, so many inmates said it was at many different locations so never could get a real answer since they obviously didnt really know just went off hear say because not one time did any one claim blood alley to be where it actually was since that areas been closed off and buildings added and removed over the years since. Was curious to where the womens prison was too, had a feeling it was where the minimum security camp was located until the moved it all behind the walls. So I am assuming the Blue Mountain
    Unit that was a medium security unit before they tore it down when building the west complex units and buildings was actually the original minimum security camp til they moved it to where the womens prison was originally? And by chance do you know where the prisons cemetary was located originally before the moved it between the new big yards and Golf Unit in the new West Complex? I know the relocated and I just always wondered where exactly they moved it from just outta curiousity when I would see it when i walked by it going to housing unit from big yard and back all the time.
    By the way this is some good info you have on the history of the penitentiary. Found a few things about it that I had been curious about but could never find anywhere else on internet or in the books and articles Ive read so far about the Walla Walla Penitentiary. I’ll have to look into purchasing your book sometime.

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