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Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Prisoner Rehabilitated: Angola Prison a Model for Prison Rehabilitation




Angola State Prison in Louisiana is a prison with a large percentage of inmates serving Life Sentences. Something like half of all Angola Prisoners are serving Life Sentences. It might be more then that, because Angola basically gets the worst of the worst as far as offenders in Louisiana. Murderers, rapists, batterers, Gang Bangers etc. But what separates Angola from a lot of other prisons in America, is how they treat their inmates. They see them basically as lost souls, people who went down the wrong road or whatever. And its their mission to steer these people on the right course. That if these people are going to serve long sentences, most of them twenty years or more. That its in the best interest for Angola. Society and the inmates themselves, if these people become productive while if prison. And this system has worked to the point, that Angola produces their own food. And can generate its own revenue, they may even be Self Financed. Meaning they aren't dependent on Tax Payer funds to fund their operations. Not sure about that but Angola has its own farm, that produces its food and they can sell this food to other places. As well as other Prison Industries where the inmates can get a job, actually they are expected to work. They don't have a choice and if they refuse to work, they get sent to lockdown. So the inmates aren't there to hang out but be productive with their time. And if they aren't, they pay a heavy price for that. Angola Inmates are expected to get an education, Job Training and then work while they are there.

Angola is an example of what we should be doing with our Corrections System in America and is at least one area. Where Louisiana is ahead of most of the rest of the country. Texas has figured this out as well, a State that has had its own crime issues. And known for locking up a lot of people and putting a lot of Convicted Murderers to death. They have Prison Industries as well in their Corrections System, where their inmates that aren't in lockdown. Are given the opportunity to be productive in prison and be able to go to school. And they've developed this system so well. That CNBC even did a documentary about this back in December. Texas Prisons can now fund themselves, at least to a certain extent. Because of the work of their inmates and what they produced and they get paid for that. Based on the work that they do and then are required to contribute to their Living Expenses. Which makes Texas Prisons less dependent on Tax Payer funds to fund them. Which gives Texas more resources for things like education, Infrastructure Investment. They can bring their taxes down, that they otherwise wouldn't be able to do. With the revenue generated by their prisons.

There's so much more we can do with our Corrections System, as far as making it more Cost Effective and productive. Meaning we would get more out of them as a society, because less people going back to prison. And we can make them Self Sufficient and Self Financed as well. So they don't have to compete with other priorities for funds. And Angola Prison is an example of this.