The state penitentiary in Angola Louisiana is the largest and on of the oldest maximum security prison in the United States. A little over 5000 men live within its walls and three quarters of them are black. Eighty five percent of the inmates at Angola will die inside the prison due to being executed or serving a full life sentence. The prison is 18,000 acres and has its own farm which prisoners work on.
Angola's name is derived from a country in Africa named Angola. The prison was once a plantation where many slaves were put to work. The slaves were brought over from Angola and brought the name with them. During the civil war era the plantation was transformed into a prison and has been that way ever since. The fields in which the slaves once worked are now occupied by prisoners.
The inmates at Angola operate a radio station, KLSP, "The Incarceration Station". The station is broadcast at low power on 91.7fm and can be heard in the vicinity of the prison. This station plays gospel music and is completely run by prisoners. The penitentiary also publishes a bi-monthly magazine called The Angolite, published by an inmate staff. Prisoners are all assigned jobs at the prison and can also get their g.e.d. or go to church. Since lots of prisoners are there to serve life sentences, a lot of them become religious so that they feel they will make it to heaven after they escape the gates of Angola through death. The Louisiana State Penitentiary at Angola is located about 55 miles north of Baton Rouge on the banks of the Mississippi. Outside the prison lies a small museum dedicated to the prison's history. Arts and crafts made by prisoners are on display along with an exhibit of the death penalty at Angola. Along with the museum the prison has a Rodeo which brings people from far and wide. It is held every Sunday in October and features a band comprised of prisoners and working inmates. The general public is not allowed inside the gates of the prison...
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