Jim says: Yesterday Mary and I drove the Bronco about 25 miles from St. Francisville to the site of Louisiana’s Angola State Prison which houses over 5,000 inmates, has a staff of about 1,800 and is situated on 18,000 acres surrounded on three sides by the Mississippi River. We spent about two hours at this very well done museum.
Here’s a Google Earth view of the area.
Here’s a photo of a photo in the museum.
The front gate.
The inmates nicknamed the Electric Chair “Gruesome Gertie”.
I lifted this ball and it was REALLY HEAVY!
The cell of today.
Sweatshirts and tee-shirts sport this saying in the gift shop.
Bert Dixon manned the Museum’s gift shop. He told me his father C.C. Dixon worked at the prison for 33 years. His son Johnny Bert Dixon has been at the prison for about 20 years. When I asked Bert what his job was during his 31.5 years at the prison, he replied “I ran Bloodhounds for a while and retired as Chief of Field Security.”
To see the other 50 photos I took, click this link…
Here’s some fact about Angola courtesy of where2guide.com…
The Louisiana State Penitentiary, surrounded on three sides by the Mississippi River and the rugged Tunica Hills on the fourth, is located in West Feliciana Parish, 59 miles northwest of the state capitol of Baton Rouge. The nearest town is St. Francisville, 22 miles away.
The prison was officially created January 1, 1901 when the state resumed control of the prisoners leased to private profiteers for the preceding 55 years. Better known as “Angola,” it is the state’s only maximum security prison, manned by an army of 1,800 employees with an operating budget of $83,113,734 for the current fiscal year. The Warden is N. Burl Cain.
As of September 13, 1998-2006, there were 5,133 men confined in Louisiana State Penitentiary – 77.8 percent (3,996) were black and 22 percent (1,128) white, with an average age of 35.9. Only 44 prisoners were younger than 20. In fact, the 1,240 inmates under age 30 constitute only 24.2 percent of the Angola population. Those in their thirties (1,711) comprise 33.3 percent . But 42.4 percent of the population (2,182) is over the age of 40.
More than half (3,000, of 58.4 percent ) of the total population are lifers. Those serving terms of 20 years or more are the second-largest group of prisoners (1,556, or 30.3 percent). Their average sentence length is 49.75 years, making most of them “virtual” lifers because their earliest release date exceeds their lifespan. Combined with the lifers, they constitute a group of 4,556 prisoners, 88.7 percent of the inmate population. An additional 82 condemned men (1.6 percent) await death by lethal injection.
Angola prisoners are mostly city boys (72.8 percent), coming from the state’s 10 urban parishes. The remaining 27.2 percent of the inmates (1,392) came from its 54 rural parishes. More than half (2,725, or 53.1 percent) were incarcerated by only three parishes: Orleans (1,556 or 30.3 percent), East Baton Rouge (585, or 11.4 percent), and Jefferson (584, or 11.4 percent).
Violent criminals make up 87 percent of Angola’s population. those convicted of homicide ( murder, manslaughter, vehicular or negligent homicide ) number 2,359, or 46 percent of the men serving time here. Robbery was the second most common crime (1,114, or 21.7 percent). The third largest group of prisoners are here for the crime of rape (845, or 16.5 percent).
More than one-third (1,977, or 38.5 percent ) are first offenders’ 1435 (27.9 percent), second offenders; 983 (19.1 percent), third offenders’ 432 (8.4 percent), fourth offenders’ 178 (3.5 percent), fifth offenders; 54 ( 1 percent), sixth ; 25 (.5 percent), seventh; and 7 (.1 percent), eighth offenders.
Approximately 2,500 of Angola;s prisoners are housed in the Main Prison Complex with about 2,600 more quartered in five large outcamps (Camps C, D, F, J and the Reception Center), each a prison in itself. Every physically able prisoner is required to work. The majority labor eight hours per day, five days per week, in the prison’s vast farming operations. The primary crops are corn, soybeans, cotton wheat. Many vegetable crops such as tomatoes, cabbage, okra, watermelons, beans, peppers and onions are also produced. Approximately four million pounds of vegetables are processed annually by the prison. Angola inmates tend a beef herd of 1,500 cattle. Other inmates work in prison industries such as a license tag plant, silk screen shop, metal fabrication shop, and a mattress, broom and mop factory. Others are enrolled in academic and vocational programs such as welding, carpentry, graphic arts, culinary arts, auto mechanics, and body and fender repair.
Here’s the official prison museum website link…
Here’s a Wikipedia informational link…
Here’s the official state government website link…
All original material Copyright – Jim Jaillet 2010
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