Thursday, 27 November 2014

Wednesday 26 November, 2014

St Francisville is the oldest town in the Florida Parishes of Louisiana. It is 2 miles long and 2 yards wide. Again, a very small town and probably the smallest on this trip, population of 1500. It lies on a ridge formed by dust storms in the Glacial period.
It has many antebellum homes and we think we've seen enough of these!
It had a shopping centre and we did get a bit excited until we saw only a grocery store and dollar shop! Walked around town, found a lovely coffee shop and then headed back to the boat.
We saw many of these beautiful trees with lots of Spanish Moss hanging from them.

This afternoon we headed to the Angola Prison. 18,000acres and close to being self sufficient in growing wheat, corn and soybeans (4 million pounds of vegetables). They also raise cattle, train bloodhounds and drug dogs and refurbish wheelchairs to send to underprivileged areas. All physically abled inmates work at some job. Sadly 90 % of the crimes committed by the inmates were done under the influence of drugs or alcohol.  The better their behavior the more privileges they have. Many of them mentor others, including the "at risk" kids who are brought to the prison to try to rehabilitate them early.

In the past this prison has been known as America's most dangerous penitentiary.  Today it is known as a model facility and takes great pride in its faith based rehabilitation of its 6000 inmates 83 of whom are on Death Row. Louisiana has mandatory sentencing, if you receive a life sentence, you serve life. The average sentence in Angola is 92 years.

The change has been attributed to the new warden. He had trained as a teacher, taught 3 months and didn't like it so applied for a job in a correctional facility. It is said he thinks outside the box and because he had a teaching background had a different skill set.
One difference is that each year they have a series of rodeos in which the inmates participate in the events. The rodeos sell out more quickly each year and has resulted in huge expansion to the grandstands! About 15,000 people attend the rodeo!

An area of the prison that is no longer used is the solitary confinement
Warden Cain has begun a theology school at the prison, ensures all inmates are literate and healthy. Many other states are now following the programs that Angola has implemented with great success!


  1. Another good report. Unfortunately the pics won't load for me.

  2. Very interesting places you have gotten to go ---places I have never been, even though I don't live very far away!!!! ha... We have driven on the Natchez Trace--but not down as far as you all are!!!! I've always wanted to visit Natchez.

    Hope you are enjoying your trip...