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Murderers Become Cowboys at Prison Rodeo

Louisiana's Angola State Prison sits on a former plantation that was populated with slaves from Angola, Africa. Twice a year, the prison, which is larger than the island of Manhattan, holds a prisoner rodeo. Yeehaw!!!

NPR painted a picture of the festivities:

The man selling snow cones is in for rape. The man selling pig tails kidnapped his girlfriend. The guy selling the Tornado Potato is in for life.

The arena seats 10,000 people from the community, and inmates compete in seven events, such as bull dogging, wild horse riding, "convict poker" and the "guts and glory" event. Most winners send their prize money home to their families.

Do you think this is a creative way to rehabilitate criminals? Or, does it undermine prison's punishment purpose? Would you stop by the rodeo to taste gumbo made by murderers, robbers, and rapists? To check out an awesome video of the rodeo,


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Join The Conversation
Kimpossible Kimpossible 9 years
I think this is good. I agree that I think it would help the inmates rehabilitate because they actually got to do something productive and even a tad fun. I don't think that inmates should have the same rights as law abiding citizens though. and I would go to one of these functions but I honestly don't think I would eat the food... I would have a hard time trusting what these inmates may have done to it.
MissyCat MissyCat 9 years
I can remember as a kid going with my folks to see the Texas Prison Rodeo, so this sort of activity for incarcerated populations isn't a concept that is all that new. I say populations because the women of what was then called Goree Women's Penitentiary also competed in the rodeo, in traditional womens' events like barrel racing. However, times and things change. Goree is now a men's unit in the Texas prison system and the Texas penal system shut down their prison rodeo operations back in 1986.
karisaamy karisaamy 9 years
I have no problem with it being once a year, so that they have something to look forward to for those "good" prisoners.
CaterpillarGirl CaterpillarGirl 9 years
I dont even want to know the jokes going around in the booth selling sausages
hypnoticmix hypnoticmix 9 years
I think things like this are great. Prisoners who are able to engage in such activities have been shown to have much more successful rehabilitation than those prisoners who are basically treated like confined animals.
syako syako 9 years
attitude adjustment. love it.
KrisSugar KrisSugar 9 years
yes, Cine. That will be in the brochure about driving privileges. :)
KrisSugar KrisSugar 9 years
i agree with your statement Nya. The young man who killed my friend had a very sad, miserable look on his face in the newspaper photo of him in an orange suit, handcuffed. But, his life in prison sentence is still way better than what his victim got. I am sure he's very regretful, but you know what? too bad. if it's cruel to let him sit and wallow in regret, I guess that's okay!
cine_lover cine_lover 9 years
Oh Kris as a subcategory on the car topic can it be "the left hand lane is for passing jackass!"
cine_lover cine_lover 9 years
"I think a person loses any rights they have when they kill or rape an innocent person or child." I completely agree. Unfortunately most people see me as cruel because I don't give a rats ass about criminal rights. That is why I try to stay out of those threads. Not worth the fight. If we did not make prisons into cable ready entertainment centers, then maybe people would have a larger fear of it.
nyaradzom2001 nyaradzom2001 9 years
lol kris.
KrisSugar KrisSugar 9 years
topics will be such things as: "Hey, you aren't the only person who drives a car!" and "How to offer a dissenting opinion on a web message board without being an a-hole." "When agreeing to disagree is the best choice." "Why using Racial-slurs is trashy." etc.
nyaradzom2001 nyaradzom2001 9 years
cine I was watching the first 48 yesterday and these 3 teens killed a 73 year old man and one of the boys is howling my life is over ,my life is over and the detective glares at him and she says, the man you killed his life is over, your life is not over. And I was like ain't that the truth. He gets to go to prison, will get paroled, will come out and enjoy the rest of his life or if he gets the death sentence he might die while on death row, or if he does get executed, they will try make it as humane as possible. Was he humane when he shot that man in the neck? I think a person loses any rights they have when they kill or rape an innocent person or child.
syako syako 9 years
sweet! I totally approve.
cine_lover cine_lover 9 years
Sy, when you were gone the other day she got hired to head the OHAA!
cine_lover cine_lover 9 years
Nyara, I totally agree that we are not harsh enough on our criminals, out of fear that we are being "cruel" or "impeding on their rights".
syako syako 9 years
Kris is that your official office for when Cine and I are in the White House in 2012? Citizen, that's hilarious! No, oil, silly!! You know, Morgan City used to be Oil Central back in the 80's... then it was New Orleans then Houston. It just keeps moving around and so do all the families in the business.
cine_lover cine_lover 9 years
Syako, that sounds like fun! And I LOVE shrimp! Kris, you and Cabaker, AKA Secretary of Awesomeness, could create amazing brochures! I like the initiative!
CitizenSugar CitizenSugar 9 years
Oh my, I was imagining a pile of shrimp next to a jar of Vaseline. Shrimp and Petroleum (jelly)! I'm so literal this morning. That sounds so awesome syako! Thanks :)
KrisSugar KrisSugar 9 years
I think festivals are super important to one's attitude. When i take office in the the Office of Homeland Attitude Adjustment, I'm going to create a brochure about the benefits of local festivals.
nyaradzom2001 nyaradzom2001 9 years
Life imprisonment for murder should not include this, it should harsh and painful, but then again wouldn't that somehow affect a person's rights according to the American constitution??? :oy: If I was president I would have different prisons for different offences, child molesters and rapists would get their own, murderers their own, robbers their own, druggies their own, but the rapists and murderers would have the harshest life.
bellaressa bellaressa 9 years
That is good that they send the little money they have homes, especially if they have children which I am sure they benefit from.
syako syako 9 years
Well there's a boat parade on the river where they decorate all the boats and everyone stands on the sides of the river and cheer them on. They have rides and SHRIMP! And I mean, shrimp and petroleum is what keeps the economy going in that town, so it's just a celebration for those two industries! :)
cine_lover cine_lover 9 years
What goes on in a festival such as Shrimp and Petroleum? Here in New York, we have lots of Saint carnivals! I love them! You take a risk with your life every time you get on a ride.
LibertySugar LibertySugar 9 years
A few winners get very minimal prize money that they send home, according to the sources I saw. The other proceeds go to the prison. syako, thanks for sharing a local perspective!!!
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