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Inside Louisiana State Penitentiary - and its gun room

Blog | By James Fletcher | Jul 21, 2020


Louisiana State Penitentiary is the largest maximum security prison in the US occupying a footprint larger than Manhattan. It’s mostly farmland, which is worked on by inmates. The produce feeds the prisoners. Reforming governor Burl Cain transformed the prison from being one of the most violent to the least violent with a focus on humane treatment of inmates. There is a death row, which was not easy viewing. The state’s prime duty to death row prisoners is keeping them alive… yes, so they can execute them. Chances of escape are minimal. The Mississippi River covers two sides, and unpassable undergrowth on the other side. Even so, there is a helicopter, dog corps, a well-stocked armoury and a fleet of off-road vehicles ready to pounce. With many on life sentences, many exit via the graveyard on the property.