Angola – HidingFromGoro – Nov 09 (5/13)

Well, bad things could certainly never happen in MY region or state!

Let’s take a quick look at some correctional facilities around the country. This list is of course not exhaustive, and almost entirely reposted from previous threads I’ve posted in.

Starting with Louisiana:

One out of every 45 people in Louisiana is in prison. Think about that for a minute. This is the highest rate in the country (and the world) by a wide margin.


The crown jewel of the Louisiana prison system is Angola. This is one of the most backward and barbaric prisons in the world. They tell horror stories about Angola in Pelican Bay.


Angola is a former slave plantation which still maintains a massive (18,000 acres) farming operation run wholly without machinery. Inmates- overwhelmingly black- still pick cotton by hand there, along with soybeans. They work the fields with hand tools just like in the “good old days.” Some of the guards there are directly descended from the slave-drivers who worked there when it was a slave plantation. Inmates also maintain a large golf course for use by the staff.

The “Angola 3” are three Black Panthers who were kept in solitary for 36 years. This is the longest time anyone has been in solitary US history as far as any surviving records indicate. This is also in violation of international treaties the US has ratified. They got let out after John Conyers visited the prison and was stunned by that fact. One of them, Robert King Wilkerson, got released from Angola after 29 years in solitary. He is now a nationally-recognized prison activist and his motto is “I’m free of Angola, but Angola will never be free of me.”

Over 600 of the 5100 inmates have been in there over 25 years. 85% of them (of the 5100 not the 600) are expected to die in there due to the extreme length of prison sentences in Louisiana. Many were wrongly convicted, but due to shoddy records and shady forensics, we will never know how many. Michael Williams was 16 years old when he was wrongly convicted of rape based on one eyewitness. He was sentenced to life without the possibility of parole. Shortly after his 40th birthday- after 24 years in Angola- he was freed based on DNA testing. He received no compensation, because compensating people for wrongful conviction or imprisonment is illegal in Louisiana.

Torture is rampant at Angola, last year they finally had a hearing on the abuse, and practices such as the freezing treatment were at last exposed in open court. The freezing treatment is stripping someone naked and spraying them with water and throwing them in an unheated cement room with open windows in the winter time. They got to hear about jaws being broken if you talked back, forcing inmates to urinate and defecate on themselves (and beating those who refused until they lost control of their bodily functions). For example “one of the guards was hitting us all in the head. Said he liked the sound of the drums – the drumming sound that – from hitting us in the head with the stick.” Medical records supported almost every allegation. The state agreed to settle without admitting liability. Some of the inmates got $7,000 settlement payments, most got nothing.


But you don’t have take my word for it: http://www.counterpunch.org/flaherty01272009.html
http://www.counterpunch.org/flaherty06102008.html

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