“and a rodeo.. seriously.”
Prior to 1835, inmates were housed in a vermin infested jail in New Orleans. In that year the first Louisiana State Penitentiary was built at the corner of 6th and Laurel Streets in Baton Rouge using a plan similar to a prison in Wethersfield, Connecticut. In 1844, the penitentiary, including the inmates, was leased to the private firm of McHatton Pratt and Company. Union Troops occupied the penitentiary during the Civil War, and in 1869 the lease was awarded to a Confederate Major by the name of Samuel James. The James Family would be in charge of the Louisiana Corrections system for the next 31 years. Louisiana citizens also have the unique opportunity to actually "visit" Angola's past by stopping by the Angola Museum. The museum, which was established in 1998 by Warden Cain, is dedicated to preserving Angola's history. The museum has become an official tourist site in the parish and serves as a resource for information on the state's correctional system.
Went here for the semi-annual prison rodeo. It was fun and super weird - definitely a must-see. While I'm glad I did it once, however, I'm not sure I'd want to go a second time.
Great southern American experience!
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