Last week I spent two days in the biggest maximum
security prison in the USA: Angola State Prison in
Louisiana. I went with Sen. Rev. James Meeks, Sen. Peter Roskam,
and former State Rep. Tom Johnson of the Prisoner Review Board.
It was quite an experience to see what was once the
nation's most violent prison now that it's a
faith-based institution. A seminary exists at the
prison and inmates get acredited four-year degrees
at no expense to taxpayers. Several inmate churches have been built by
inmates without state money. Assaults on staff and
inmates are at an all-time low even tho there are
5,100 inmates, most of them lifers.
Illinois suffers from record high recidivism and a growing inmate
population, despite a declining crime rate. The Illinois Department of
Corrections isn't doing enough correcting. Rehabilitation doesn't
occur just because someone is locked in a 12' x 8' cell. We should learn
from the experience in Angola.
Monday, December 13, 2004
Representative Paul Froehlich on visit to Angola State Prison in Louisiana
I'm quite honored to have a guest poster: State Representative Paul Froehlich. I'll let his post speak for him: