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Watchtower at Louisiana State Penitentiary at Angola
Here’s Why Louisiana’s Angola Prison Is So Dangerous
History - Crime
Content Warning
This story contains discussions of sexual assault.
At Louisiana State Penitentiary at Angola, the biggest maximum-security prison in the U.S., prisoners pick cotton and sugarcane from fields under the watch of armed guards.
For their field labor, prisoners earn as little as $0.02 an hour. Refusing to work — or not working fast enough — can result in solitary confinement.
If that wasn't enough, there's also a lack of medical care, high rates of suicide, drug overdoses, and abysmal living and working conditions.
Violent criminals are housed in this facility with a reputation for inmate-on-inmate brutality and rape. They're monitored by vicious wolf-dogs and violent, underpaid guards.
In July 2020, a federal court sentenced three Angola correction officers to prison for beating a shackled inmate, causing broken ribs, a dislocated shoulder, and a collapsed lung.
In 2021, Federal District Court Judge Shelly K. Dick accused Angola of violating the U.S. Constitution’s Eighth Amendment by not providing adequate medical care.
Much of the medical staff at the penitentiary have issues of their own, with some of the full-time doctors having had their medical licenses suspended at one time or another.
A federal court filing also said that young inmates were given unsanitary food and water and exposed to dangerous heat, which posed psychological danger to these prisoners.