Guards and they're families did indeed stay on the island while working at Alcatraz.
Piper and Moose for example lived in these buildings and play in some of these, but most of the time explore around.
In the novel, Al Capone did do laundry for a job and everyone on the island.
Ready for my first job at Alcatraz, Laundry!
According to Gennifer Choldenko, in the authors notes it states,"the families of most guards and prison administrators lived on the islands." Guards and they're families did indeed stay on the island while working at Alcatraz.
In the author's notes it says,"There was a village on the island: a post office with a pelican insignia postmark, a tiny grocery store, a play area called the parade grounds and a Officers' Club complete with a bowling alley. Many people lived in 64 building, an army-issue apartment building that still stands today."
According to Gennifer Choldenko, in the authors notes, it states,"Capone's first job on Alcatraz was working the mangle in the laundry facility."That means Al Capone did indeed do laundry on Alcatraz.