The Louisiana State Penitentiary at Angola is located about 55 miles north of Baton Rouge on the banks of the Mississippi. There is a small museum just outside the prison. It will soon be moving into larger quarters. The museum includes information about the prison's history, examples of arts and crafts made by prisoners, and a somewhat provacative exhibit on the death penalty.
Former and current prisoners staff the museum, providing an opportunity for some interesting conversation. The prison itself is closed to the general public. The prison grounds are expansive and still include a working prison farm. Several days each year the prison gates are opened for special events.
One event is the Angola Prison Rodeo which takes place every Sunday in October.
Louisana has not followed Texas, which recently halted the Prison Rodeo in Huntsville. As an added bonus, a band featuring inmates performs at the Angola Rodeo.
And, during one weekend in the spring (call for exact details) an Arts and Crafts Festival is held featuring items made by inmates. Prison tours are also given that weekend.
A couple of interesting Angola facts: The inmates 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. The penitentiary also publishes a bi-monthly magazine called The Angolite, published by an inmate staff. The general public can subscribe to the magazine.
Call (504) 655-4411 for further information.
NOTE: Historic music recorded in the prison can be heard on Arhoolie Records' Angola Prisoners' Blues.
Also see Huddie Ledbetter.