Jails and Prisons
October 22, 2012
The following information will compare a state prison against a parish jail in the state of Louisiana to note the major differences. Two aspects of the jail and prison culture and subculture are a topic of discussion. An assessment of violent behavior that takes place in the jail and prison along with a strategy in use to control the problem is of discussion. Also I will include discussion of a community-based corrections program in Slidell, Louisiana, in connection to the jail and prison. Main topics will include The Louisiana State Penitentiary, The Saint Tammany Parish Jail, and the corrections facility, Truth 180.
The Louisiana State Penitentiary
The Louisiana State Penitentiary, which is a prison farm in Louisiana operated by the Louisiana Department of Public Safety and Corrections, is the largest maximum security prison in the United States with 5,000 offenders and 1,800 staff. The warden and 600 of the prison employees live on the grounds. 18,000 acres of land belong to the Penitentiary, better known as Angola. The prison is an industrial prison meaning it intends to capitalize on the labor of inmates sent to prison for confinement. Operating as a working farm under the leadership of Warden Burl Cain, in 2010 Angola’s inmates serving a life sentence was 71%. Inmates work the farm growing crops, raising cattle, and training the bucking bulls for the twice a year rodeo event that takes place for public viewing at cost on the prison grounds. The inmates use horses and mules to work the land but harvest the crop by hand. In exchange for working and good behavior the prison offers programs for general education diplomas (GED) to qualifying inmates. Once the GED program is complete the inmates can join other vocational programs that include: automotive technology, carpentry, culinary arts, graphic communications, horticulture, and welding. The prison rodeo/sale is a time for inmates to sell the goods they have made. The inmates use the money to buy more supplies for their next project. I can vouch the furniture as well as other items are beautiful, and the prices are not cheap but reasonable. The behaviors of the inmates are great and a good time is had by the various age groups that attend. Culture in Angola prison: “Once known as "America's bloodiest prison," Angola today is a model of change and is known as the gated community. When criminals first come to Angola, they go through the pains of imprisonment bringing with them values and beliefs from their outside culture. Two aspects of prison subculture at Angola are evident: the colonizer and the opportunist. The opportunist takes advantage of constructive programs and other self-improvement actions. The colonizers think of Angola as home, better known as lifers (inmates with a life sentence), that help younger prisoners with a second chance. The younger inmates respect the lifers as the lifers hold positions of power with the warden. For example: A new program in Angola by two New Orleans criminal judges: Judge Arthur Hunter and Judge Laurie White who went to Baton Rough to help change the laws for sentencing of non-hardened criminals to a re-entry program at Angola. The prisoners have to learn a skill that will get them a worthy living on the outside, learn respect, and learn how to become a moral human individual. The warden uses the lifers to teach and give support to the younger inmates. These programs and other programs of training and education have worked to make Angola the community it is today. In 1994 violence and bad language was an everyday occurrence until Burl Cain was the new warden in charge of cleaning up the prison and restoring humanity among the inmates. Smuggling of drugs and weapons into the prisons, riots, rape, and anything bad was happening at Angola but not so much today. Warden Cain’s implementation of programs of study while giving the prisoners...
References: CJi interactive
Frank Schmalleger.(2011). Criminal Justice Today Introductory Text for the 21st Century (11th ed.)
Thomas E. Perez, (2012). United States’ Investigation of the St. Tammany Parish Jail Pursuant to the Civil Rights of Institutionalized Person Act retrieved October 17, 2012 from: http://www.stpso.com/corrections.html
WWLTV.COM Angola ‘lifers’ help younger prisoners with a second chance retrieved October 18, 2112 from: http://www.wwltv.com/news/Angola-lifers-help-younger-prisons-with-a-second-chance.html
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