(upbeat music) – Hello, hello and welcome
back to Rouge Rocket. My name is Philip DeFranco, and before we get started, I want to say a quick thank you to the sponsor of today’s video, Audible. You know, with covering news on YouTube, often the content isn’t
considered brand friendly, and that’s why it’s essential to have partners like Audible. That way we can focus on just making the best content and not worry
about all the other noise. Now for today’s Deep Dive, we going to be taking a look inside one of the most
controversial prison programs in the United States. And it’s controversial
for a lot of reasons. For example, some people
feel an event like this exploits prisoners while
others have an issue with how brutal it is. Every year this event is held dozens of inmates end up in the infirmary. And a lot of these prisoners
aren’t just headed there with minor cuts and bruises, right. This program can result in
some pretty serious injuries like broken bones and concussions. But despite how crazy all of that sounds, there are a lot of people that believe that this program is highly
beneficial for the prisoners. And so to tell you more
about what this program is, how it actually works, and why people are divided on it, I’m gonna turn it over to Elissa Chojnicki from the Rogue Rocket team. – [Elissa] This is Louisiana
State Penitentiary, but most people just call it Angola. That’s a name derived from
the former slave plantation that used to lie here. Angola Prison is sprawling. It’s acreage is greater
than the size of Manhattan, and it’s positioned between three sides of the winding Mississippi River and alligators that
roam it’s murky waters. And that added layer of
security is pretty important because with more than 6,000 prisoners, Angola is the largest
maximum security prison in the United States. The men locked up here are some of Louisiana’s most violent. Most of Angola’s prisoners are behind bars for violent crimes like murder,
rape, and armed robbery. It’s also home to the state’s death row. And excluding the men
who are serving life, the average sentence
for Angola’s prisoners is in excess of 90 years. Meaning most of Angola’s
prisoners will never leave alive. – I was convicted of one
second degree murder, two manslaughter, and
one attempt manslaughter. I was sentenced to life plus 100 years. – [Elissa] And even after death, some men remain at Angola, buried on the prison’s grounds. Over the years, the prison
has become notorious for it’s tumultuous past. It’s been called the
Bloodiest Prison in the World, the Alcatraz of the
South, and Hell on Earth. In the 1950s, conditions
in the prison were so awful more than 30 inmates slit
their Achilles tendons to bring attention to
their poor treatment. And during the early 1970s, Angola averaged a dozen
stabbing deaths a year. But today, the prison is far
less brutal than it used to be. And Angola has started to lose it’s savage reputation among
the people of Louisiana. In fact, public perception
has changed so much that for one weekend in April, and every Sunday in October, tens of thousands of people line up and buy tickets to enter
the prison’s grounds. And these civilians aren’t
flocking to take a tour, and they’re not coming to
see the prison’s museum where you can buy
souvenir shirts that read, “Angola A Gated Community.” They’re actually coming to see this. This is the Angola Rodeo. At first glance it looks
like a typical rodeo, with events like bull
riding and steer wrestling. There’s an arts and crafts show where people can buy paintings, wood workings, and leather goods. And there are even fair rides
and tasty local Cajun food, like crawfish and cracklins. But if you take a closer look, you’ll notice this isn’t a normal rodeo, because all the men selling their goods and riding these bulls are prisoners. Angola is home to the only prison rodeo still in operation in the United States. And this rodeo might be the most controversial in the world. Some have compared it to the brutality of the Roman Colosseum, but others feel very differently. Over the years, prison staff
have often have contended the public often misconstrues the rodeo. And they’ve argued the event
is actually highly beneficial to inmate rehabilitation. So who’s right? Is this rodeo exploitation or is it a beneficial program? Or maybe it’s a little bit of both. In order to answer those questions, it’s important to take a step back and look at multiple aspects of the event. Angola has held its rodeo every year since the mid-1960s. But things have certainly
changed over the years. When the rodeo first started, staff made a ring by
parking their pickup trucks in open fields on the prison’s grounds. Spectators watched from atop parked cars, but today onlookers watch
from a 10,000 seat stadium that was built by prisoners
in the late 1990s. Traditional rodeo events,
like bareback riding, have remained throughout the years. But the prison has also added
some more dangerous events. There’s Convict Poker, where four inmates sit at a poker table in the middle of the ring. An angry bull is released, and the last inmate still sitting at the table wins. Sometimes the bull picks
off the men one-by-one. Other times he takes out the whole table. Then there’s Inmate Pinball. That’s where inmates
stand inside hula hoops. A bull is set free inside the arena, and the last inmate still standing in their hula hoop wins. But the rodeo’s signature event is one called Guts and Glory. A poker chip is tied
between the horns of a bull, and prisoners attempt to snatch the chip from the animal. Over the years Guts and Glory
has become a crowd favorite, but the brutal event sometimes
ends a prisoner’s day with a trip to the infirmary. It’s also worth noting, prisoners aren’t allowed to train or prepare for these events. And a lot of Angola’s prison population comes from large cities. Meaning, most of these
men have never even seen a bull in person before. – I didn’t even know all bulls was male until I came to Angola. (laughing) – [Elissa] And because
these men are participating in dangerous events with
no training and experience, injuries are pretty common. They can range from broken ribs to concussions to dislocated shoulders. – He fell on his head, he fell on his back, okay? I don’t know what other injuries he has. – It looked like he might have had some loss of consciousness, possibly when he got ran over by a horse. But, just, we’re not sure so he’s gonna go to the treatment unit on the main campus to get
checked out by some doctors. – I’m done, bro. – [EMT] Dislocated? Dislocated? – I think it broke from
the bone, clean break. – I got stepped on by a cow. I thought he was moon-walking on me, man. – [Elissa] And while the
biggest crowd reactions usually come from the most brutal blows, Angola’s former warder, Burl Cain, told CBS back in 2015 that he felt the rodeo isn’t about
watching people get hurt. – We want to have this show and have no one get hurt, no one be injured and have a good time. It’s about a good time, it’s not about some sinister
brutal thing that happens. – [Elissa] Cain has argued
changes to the rodeo prove the event isn’t
about people getting hurt. When Angola first hosted
the rodeo in the 1960s, prisoners weren’t offered
much in the way of protection. But today, the penitentiary
extends it’s inmates more safeguards that are
typical at other rodeos. – Now here’s what I do, this is the most important thing. They wearing the flag vests, they wearing the helmets, and then we have hired the very finest rodeo clowns who you
see get between the bull and the guy and save the guy then get the bull to chase him. We’ve gone to great
extremes to protect ’em. – [Elissa] But even though
the probability of injury is still high at the Angola Rodeo, prisoners are actually
voluntarily lining up in droves to take part. In fact, every year more prisoners sign up than are allowed to participate, and there are some pretty big incentives for inmate participation. – So why do you do this? – Money. – Yeah?
– I’m broke, I’m trying to get a private investigator on my case. – [Elissa] The rodeo offers prisoners some serious cash prizes for winning events. Bull riding winners can
make hundreds of dollars, and the winner of the
rodeo’s biggest event, Guts and Glory, can make even more. The inmate who snatches the poker chip in that event gets $1,000. And for a lot of guys, that money is worth the price of injury. Because for some, the cash
goes toward legal fees, and for others the rodeo is a chance to provide money for their
families on the outside. – The only reason that I
participate in the rodeo is to actually help out at home, you know. Decent pair of shoes for
school will take you a long way coming from here. – [Elissa] For most prisoners, the potential to make a
couple hundred dollars in a day is their only
chance to make a significant amount of money is a short period of time. Because while a lot of
prisoners have jobs at Angola, like picking vegetables in the fields, most of those normal prison
jobs don’t pay a lot. In fact, they barely pay at all. The average pay for inmates at Angola is just two cents an hour. It could take an inmate years of working in the fields to make the amount of money some of the rodeo events
offer as first place prizes. Here’s Cain talking to an inmate who won several hundred dollars at the rodeo a few years ago. – How much you make an hour, normally? – I haven’t even received
a cent of pay yet, sir. – So if you did, it’d
be two cents an hour. – Yes, sir.
– But you’re just a millionaire in prison terms. – Yes, sir. (Cain laughs) – Well congratulations.
– Thank you, sir. – [Elissa] But inmates
don’t just make money from bull riding and
convict poker at the rodeo Prisoners who sell their
goods at the craft fair can also make some significant cash. – This is the money, this is how I earn my living here. I’m able to give my son
money for his birthday, money for Christmas. I’m able to help with his school supplies and his clothes, to a certain degree ’cause they’re very expensive. But I do what I can. I make thousands of dollars, now I’m not bragging, I’m just saying God’s been good to me. I’m blessed. – [Elissa] Prisoners who
sell their arts and crafts at the show are allowed to
keep 85% of the profits. Inmates pay a 5% state
tax and a 5% federal tax. The last 5% goes to the prison. Money raised by the rodeo through this tax and ticket sales is used for
inmate rehabilitation programs aimed at prisoners who will
eventually be up for parole. The programs include GED classes and certified trade classes like auto repair and air
conditioning installation. In 2014 and 2015, the rodeo brought in $6.2 million of revenue, and that additional funding
has been crucial for Angola since the prison has faced multiple budget cuts over the years. In 2012, another prison
closed in Louisiana and 1,000 additional
inmates were sent to Angola. But Angola wasn’t given
an increased budget or staff to handle the new prisoners. But money isn’t the only reason prisoners are lining up to ride
bulls and sell their goods. A lot of prisoners choose to participate because the rodeo offers them
something to look forward to. – Freedom away from everyday
prison life, really. It’s a little break
from the everyday stress that you go through in there. – Prison is what you make of it. My life, I made the rodeo of it. That’s what keeps me going. (crowd cheering) – And when I go to the rodeo, I actually feel free just
being on one of the animals. – [Elissa] Prisoners who
come in first place events, like bull riding, can also win ornate belt buckles as prizes. Winning these buckles can earn prisoners respect and recognition
among fellow inmates. And outside the freedom and prizes, some inmates feel the rodeo is a chance to prove that they can
be part of society again. – I would say they look
at us and they say, “You know, maybe these people “mighta just made one bad decision. “They’re just regular
people like us, you know? “That they just had one bad day.” But other than that
we’re just normal people that like to have fun and
like to exhort our talents just like everybody else. It makes us be a part of
society again, you know. It lets them see we’re
all responsible people and that we can interact. That we’re not just criminals, you know. We are regular people and that
we can all have fun together. – [Elissa] And having
something to look forward to and a chance to prove themselves is important to a lot of prisoners because as we mentioned earlier most of these prisoners are lifers. And while there are arguments that murderers and rapists shouldn’t be given something to look forward to, Cain has said incentives
can help behavior issues. – I got to try to change this dude because corrections means
correct his deviant behavior. So I’m charged with correcting him. That’s my job, it’s not locking feet and torture and torment. It really proves that people can change. There’s no one here
that’s going to hurt you or gonna cause any problems. Now I have some in cell blocks
in some places that would. – [Elissa] And other
staff members of Angola have attested in the months
leading up to the rodeo there are fewer behavioral
problems in the prison. Every inmate who participates in the rodeo has to be selected by staff to
compete or sell their goods. Meaning just one slip up or outburst and an inmate can be
removed from the event. But on the other hand, a track record of excellent behavior can give inmates more
freedom on rodeo days. Inmates have served a decade
or more without incident are allowed to sell their
goods at the craft fair and mingle with attendees. These inmates are called Trustees. For inmates who haven’t
earned Trustee status yet, they are still allowed to
sell their goods at the fair, but they have to remain
behind a chain link fence. Right now, prisoners are preparing to sell their goods for purchase. And tickets are currently being sold for this year’s rodeo. The event is expected to sell out each Sunday in October. But that doesn’t mean the future of Angola’s rodeo is secure. Prison rodeos have been
held in other states besides Louisiana in the past, but controversy over
animal and inmate safety, and budgetary concerns have
shut down these rodeos. And there are certainly still concerns that Angola’s rodeo
exploits its prisoners, especially when it comes
to financial compensation. But prison officials
have denied that claim. – Nobody has to do it. Nobody, nobody, nobody. They want to do it. How can I take advantage of you if you want to do it? – [Elissa] But still, there
are people who disagree. Prisoners do not have a
choice when it comes to working their regular jobs
at Angola, like fieldwork. If an inmate passes a medical test, he is assigned a job that he has to work, and there are no pay negotiations. Each inmate makes just cents an hour. So if inmates need money
for legal representation or to help their families back home, the rodeo is the best way to make money. And for that reason, some have argued participating in the rodeo
really isn’t a choice. In 2016, New Orleans
journalist, Aviva Shen wrote, “Prison officials are adamant that no one “is forced to participate in the rodeo. “But the economics of the prison system “challenge that definition of choice.” And there are also concerns
about the events themselves. Because while prisoners do get to decide whether or not they want
to sign up for the rodeo, they actually don’t get
to pick which events they will compete in. That’s a decision prison staff make, and obviously some events like Guts and Glory and Convict Poker are more dangerous than others. But still, it’s hard
to deny that the rodeo brings in some much needed
cash for the prison. And the reform programs
that have been funded through the profits can be life changing for the prisoners who will
eventually leave Angola. But despite all that controversy and the differing opinions, this year, the rodeo will go on. And on October 5th,
the Angola Prison Rodeo will celebrate its 55th anniversary. – And so with all of that said, and everything we’ve showcased, we want to pass the question off to you. What do you think about
Angola’s Prison Rodeo? Do you think this is
like the Roman Colosseum? Do you have concerns about watching people get injured for entertainment value? Or do you think that this
rodeo is a good idea? Do you think it’s a positive way to improve behavior and
make money for the prison? And any and all thoughts and reactions, of course we’d love to see
in those comments down below. And while you’re leaving that comment, I just wanna once again thank the sponsor of today’s video, Audible. Just go to Audible.come/RogueRocket or just text ROGUEROCKET to 500-500 to get a free audiobook,
two free Audible originals, and a free 30 day free trial. Yeah, with all that said, remember, hit that like button, hit that subscribe button, ring that bell to turn on notifications. Of course remember if you want more news and updates whenever, you can go to RogueRocket.com
and/or any of our socials. But with that said, thanks for watching, and I’ll see you soon on the next Rogue Rocket Deep Dive.

Exploitation or Rehabilitation?! The Truth About Prison Rodeos In The United States…
Tagged on:                                                                                                                                             

100 thoughts on “Exploitation or Rehabilitation?! The Truth About Prison Rodeos In The United States…

  • September 26, 2019 at 4:23 pm
    Permalink

    For or against? Exploitation or rehabilitation? Leave us a comment and let us know what you think!

    Reply
  • September 26, 2019 at 9:01 pm
    Permalink

    Always thought it was kinda sad that they only work for cents a day… but then you force them to go into a dangerous rodeo act by showing large sums of money. Why don't you just build another roman colosseum??

    Reply
  • September 26, 2019 at 9:04 pm
    Permalink

    07:30 that there is some mighty fucking yikes

    Reply
  • September 26, 2019 at 9:10 pm
    Permalink

    Money is the reason why pretty much everyone does rodeo. That being said $0.02 an hour is legal slavery, pay the prisoners minimum wage and see how many wanna compete then. I do think the art fair is a great idea tho.

    Reply
  • September 26, 2019 at 9:12 pm
    Permalink

    This just seems like exploration. The prisoners feel they are helping the community while the outsiders just come to see a show. This just reminds me of the past when the wealthy men use minorities as playthings.
    I know the men have done crimes, and they are in prison for a reason, but I just don't like the use of another life like this.
    Idk I feel mix about this.

    Reply
  • September 26, 2019 at 9:17 pm
    Permalink

    It’s a positive thing.

    Reply
  • September 26, 2019 at 9:20 pm
    Permalink

    It's the same as allowing women to prostitute themselves in prison under legal sanctions.

    It could be legal under the law, it's something one could find pleasure in, but it really says something about your society…

    I'm all for rehabilitation, but it's both unsurprising and disturbing that this has been the most —effective way

    Reply
  • September 26, 2019 at 9:28 pm
    Permalink

    If they volunteer, I don’t see a problem. They look forward to it so why not

    Reply
  • September 26, 2019 at 9:38 pm
    Permalink

    I agree with the concept EXCEPT prisoners should be able to " bid" on certain events and given to by good behavior & they should have at least some kind of training

    Reply
  • September 26, 2019 at 9:45 pm
    Permalink

    If the prisoners are having fun screw it let it keep going.

    Reply
  • September 26, 2019 at 9:46 pm
    Permalink

    What's the point in rehabilitating prisoners who will never get out?

    Reply
  • September 26, 2019 at 9:46 pm
    Permalink

    Personally I love rodeos. I grew up in a town that was a stop in the rodeo circuit and it was the best annual event we had. But the difference is these men were trained professionals . Injuries still happened, but they were trained on how to perform at these events to increase safety and success rate. They also chose what events they participated in. Because the prison omits those two crucial points that set real rodeos apart from this injury spectacle, I can't even begin to endorse it. Those inmates who sign up should have basic training in the VERY least if you want to tell me that you care for their safety. You can't strap a 120-220lb person ontop of a ~2,400lb enraged bull with no experience or prior training and tell me "but I put a vest on him and gave him a carny, look at how much I care about their safety." That's below bare minimum. Argue all you want about them being convicted felons, they are still people and for the good of the sport and the well-being of everyone present, convicts or otherwise, there needs to be more emphasis on training and well-being of participants.

    Reply
  • September 26, 2019 at 9:56 pm
    Permalink

    There's nothing wrong with Maria but I'm glad to see other reporters getting a chance to shine. And just getting rid of the rodeo seems like a bad move. Then they would all be stuck in the field making shit for money. Private prisons are a giant scheme/rip-off. Prison should be about rehabilitation, not exploitation by a company.

    Reply
  • September 26, 2019 at 10:00 pm
    Permalink

    weird bro. thanks phil.

    Reply
  • September 26, 2019 at 10:02 pm
    Permalink

    I'm 100% all for alternatives for inmates, but not totally on board of the exploitation of the bulls themselves. It's very outdated and sometimes cruel.
    But again just one personsons opinion and always open minded.

    Reply
  • September 26, 2019 at 10:05 pm
    Permalink

    Imagine doing an 8 hour shift and making $.16? 16 fucking cents. That is slave labor. Let’s ignore that the prison grounds are on an OLD PLANTATION wtf

    Reply
  • September 26, 2019 at 10:14 pm
    Permalink

    Living near where it is, a lot of people around here like the rodeo for entertainment, and dont really care about anything else. Like it was "cool" if you went to the Angola rodeo. Ive personally always felt uneasy about it, and after this video, i still feel uneasy. Im not sure which way i lean.

    Reply
  • September 26, 2019 at 10:16 pm
    Permalink

    I've actually attended the rodeo a few times, and I still have some of the crafts I've purchased. I agree that the inmates should be allowed to practice before the rodeo, and although it is not an ideal situation, the rodeo aspect brings spectators that bring money to help the prison. The crafts that the inmates create are beautiful. ornate chess boards and picture frames. even going so far as entire king size bed frames.

    Reply
  • September 26, 2019 at 10:18 pm
    Permalink

    Bull riding, I think alcohol was involved in that decision.

    Reply
  • September 26, 2019 at 10:19 pm
    Permalink

    jeebus they built a prison on a former plantation? isnt that being a little on the nose lmao

    Reply
  • September 26, 2019 at 10:22 pm
    Permalink

    Sounds like they are pretty much slaves with maybe kinda the tiniest amount of freedom

    Reply
  • September 26, 2019 at 10:28 pm
    Permalink

    The poor guy at 6:28 damn that had to hurt.

    Reply
  • September 26, 2019 at 10:28 pm
    Permalink

    The idea of REFORM instead of pure incarceration is one that should be adopted. We need to treat people in prison who are willing to take responsibility for their actions ways to interact with the outside world and give them marketable skills. That guy with the life+100 years is insane. Yes, he did something wrong and yes, he should be punished, but 150+ years is extreme. Therapy needs to be a more active approach to those in prison so there is a lesser amount of repeat offenders in the system.

    Reply
  • September 26, 2019 at 10:29 pm
    Permalink

    The only real benefits gained through the rodeo come through the fair and it makes sense to keep that fair as it has clearly served as a tool for rehabilitation, but the poker and guts and glory should only be described as cruel and unusual forms of punishment that harken back to darker times in America, it’s insane that it’s legal to put prisoners in that kind of danger, not to mention the potential risks and animal rights violations that the bulls face.

    Reply
  • September 26, 2019 at 10:33 pm
    Permalink

    Prison is actually legalized slavery at this point. 2 cents an hour? Just despicable.

    Reply
  • September 26, 2019 at 10:45 pm
    Permalink

    I think there should be more and better paying work release programs they are working fields owned by the prison but what if they worked other fields for a more reasonable wage

    Reply
  • September 26, 2019 at 10:57 pm
    Permalink

    While I do believe the rodeo is good for reform and a good change from the everyday life as a prisoner, however training should be mandatory for these events, especially if they're participating in some of the more dangerous events. That all being said, I think a larger problem is a mandatory work program that only pays cents an hour. Even prisoners deserve a way to contribute to their families and have some source of income that's not bordering on slave labor. What do y'all think?

    Reply
  • September 26, 2019 at 10:58 pm
    Permalink

    As long as they're not forcing anybody to participate the rodeos fine along with arts and crafts and I don't believe prisoners should be getting paid to do jobs that are assigned to do in my opinion that's community service that's part of your punishment is to give back to society and make Society better and I don't believe they should be paid for that but I do like the idea of the Arts and Crafts at the rodeo it seems to be good therapy for the inmates and mental health is key when you're trying to reintegrate into society

    Reply
  • September 26, 2019 at 11:12 pm
    Permalink

    I don't think the rodeo is the problem. I think the Slave labor with extra steps is.
    When most unskilled labor pays 500 times more it's not pay. It's legal slavery.

    Reply
  • September 26, 2019 at 11:14 pm
    Permalink

    "Nobody has to do it" Yeah well if the only alternative you give them is to work for literal slave wages then of course they don't have a choice. I would bet that if you offered to pay them decent wages for being shot out of a cannon they would line up for that shit too. If you put a gun to someone's head and tell them to do something then yeah technically they can still refuse but no one would buy if you tried to say they "had a choice". If that fat fuck really thinks that those guys want to do that shit then he should offer them the same amount of money for the rodeo and a normal job and see which one they chose. The art selling and everything else seems like a good idea but it might make more sense to have something like this at a facility where more of the population actually has a chance at getting out. I think they could probably turn this into some kind of other event where the inmates are not getting beaten to death by a wild animal. It does raise a good question about what the actual function of a prison should be though.

    Reply
  • September 26, 2019 at 11:16 pm
    Permalink

    deadman wonderland.

    Reply
  • September 26, 2019 at 11:16 pm
    Permalink

    If they got training then I'd be kinda for it. But throwing them in fresh?? Nah.

    Reply
  • September 26, 2019 at 11:22 pm
    Permalink

    inmate should be pain minimun wage if they work,deducted for living cost, only then the rodio would be ok, know it is exploitation even with it's good expect

    Reply
  • September 26, 2019 at 11:24 pm
    Permalink

    they could have other rehabilitation programs… this is literally an excuse for grown man causing animal cruelty and to the prisoners in some cases im sure…

    Reply
  • September 26, 2019 at 11:24 pm
    Permalink

    It's at least something, prison should be reform, everyone can change and I think opportunity is good. This may not be the answer but at least it's something.

    Reply
  • September 26, 2019 at 11:24 pm
    Permalink

    prisoners should have the option of participating in these rodeos. but the cash prizes are far too low. its the same problem with using prisoners for labor, they are not paid enough.

    Reply
  • September 26, 2019 at 11:26 pm
    Permalink

    If the inmates are given the training they deserve to participate in this event, I'd say as long as there's concent, cool. Since they get no training, it's a blood sport

    Reply
  • September 26, 2019 at 11:31 pm
    Permalink

    allowing the men to train for the events, and pick their own events would make this program better. Training for events could create an equine therapy type program at the prison that could benefit the inmates during the non-rodeo season. It would also reduce injuries and may make the money incentives less problematic. Men that work hard during the year get the cash prizes rather than complete luck of the draw.

    Reply
  • September 26, 2019 at 11:40 pm
    Permalink

    That "one bad decision" statement made 10 minutes into the video reminds me of the "20 minutes of action" quote from the father of Brock Turner, convicted rapist. Considering most people incarcerated there are murderers and rapists, I find it hard to sympathize with them. There are definitely problems with America's prison system, but this Rodeo is near the bottom of the list for what improvements need to be made, especially since it gives more benefits for the prisoners than most other exploitative practices. And exploitation and rehabilitation aren't mutually exclusive in the slightest. You can exploit and make money off of a prisoner while also rehabilitating them. Ideally that money made would be used to continue running the prison, ease the burden on taxpayers, and improving quality of life for the prisoners.

    Reply
  • September 26, 2019 at 11:44 pm
    Permalink

    Prison rodeo? America is a weird place!

    Reply
  • September 26, 2019 at 11:52 pm
    Permalink

    I'm in favor of something like this if it isnt forced and if it isnt a fucking rodeo. Rodeos are just glorified animal abuse.

    Reply
  • September 27, 2019 at 12:00 am
    Permalink

    Exploitation

    Reply
  • September 27, 2019 at 12:06 am
    Permalink

    I mean it's kind of hard to feel too bad for you know serious criminals I mean it's a maximum-security prison these are people that you know got a DUI or you know these aren't even people that like stole a car there you know violent people for the most part

    Reply
  • September 27, 2019 at 12:07 am
    Permalink

    Rehabilitation for those who will never rejoin the public.🤔Hmmmmmm idk seems like a Jail Fundraiser to me. While doubling as legalized bloody entertainment. A la the Condemned or Bloody Royal.

    Reply
  • September 27, 2019 at 12:08 am
    Permalink

    Um you should watch the dateline special

    Reply
  • September 27, 2019 at 12:19 am
    Permalink

    It should stay open. But be allowed to train.

    Reply
  • September 27, 2019 at 12:34 am
    Permalink

    I can understand why they do it. thats serious MONEY that other way could be imposible to get without selling drugs or other ilegal stuff, and keep in mind if they get HURT the prison will paid the hospital bills, and the serious street credit you get by having the balls of doing it that.

    Reply
  • September 27, 2019 at 12:38 am
    Permalink

    Surprised to be saying this, but I think this is a good idea. I think that for jobs prisons should make money, but this is surprisingly a reasonable idea.

    Reply
  • September 27, 2019 at 12:43 am
    Permalink

    What the actual fuck is wrong with humanity. This is barbarism, extinction can't come soon enough

    Reply
  • September 27, 2019 at 12:43 am
    Permalink

    Is literal slavery a good or bad thing? Gee I dunno…

    Reply
  • September 27, 2019 at 12:50 am
    Permalink

    I think nothing will ever be 100% good, but after watching this I’m going away with the opinion that it should be able to continue.

    Reply
  • September 27, 2019 at 12:53 am
    Permalink

    So many people in these comments are ok with this because it’s punishment. To those people I say drink bleach you toxic scum. Stop breathing my air if all you’re going to do is lick fascist boots. Prisons are for rehabilitation and removal only. This is exploitation pure and simple. And before anyone says “yeah but they’re rapists” if even one of those prisoners is innocent (which is probably true) then the state has made slavers of us all

    Reply
  • September 27, 2019 at 12:53 am
    Permalink

    I thought I was totally going to be against this, but now I'm not so sure

    Reply
  • September 27, 2019 at 12:57 am
    Permalink

    I think this is sickening. There are better ways to rehabilitate inmates.

    Reply
  • September 27, 2019 at 1:03 am
    Permalink

    The poker game and the guts and glory game are staples of normal rodeos. People don’t train for those “events”. There’s no training so to make that a point is misleading.

    They’re able to train for the real events right?

    I think the rodeo is overall probably a good thing for the prisons, the prisoners, and even the public (mingling with the trustees has to be a good thing). I understand the negative aspect that the cash prizes introduces, but on the other hand, it would be messed up if the prisons didn’t offer them prizes too.

    Reply
  • September 27, 2019 at 1:05 am
    Permalink

    No one should have to risk their life for a $100 reward, that's horrifying.

    Reply
  • September 27, 2019 at 1:11 am
    Permalink

    I think we all can agree that $0.02/hour is pitiful and just insulting and it should be more, but. Are people also factoring in how much it costs to shelter, feed, and contain the inmates? Like I said, they should probably get more but I wouldn’t call it downright slavery.

    Think of it this way. Say prison was like a hotel (just bear with me). At hotels you pay per night you stay to cover the cost of:
    – Housekeeping (guards)
    – Continental breakfast (food)
    – Room (shelter)
    – Revenue (profit)

    Now say that the nightly fee was $80 (completely arbitrary). Also imagine the hotel offered you work where you could make $90 a day and you had no other income. That means, each day you would really only be making $10 ($1.25/hour) because you’d have to pay $80 to stay at the hotel for another night.

    This is how I see prisons, they messed up and some of them in big ways. Why should they get a free ride (food and shelter) at the expense of tax payers? The forced work is a way for them to earn their keep. Again, I’d like to say that $0.02/hour but saying inmates should get minimum wage isn’t taking into account the above

    Reply
  • September 27, 2019 at 1:20 am
    Permalink

    This really just exposes the conditions in the prison system. While I'm not really one that thinks rodeos are all that great I can appreciate what they're trying to do. The warden or director of the prison said things that I completely agree with. It seems that most prisons have moved from rehabilitation to just holding. The event gives them something to work for and hope for. Not everyone in the prison system actually needs to be there. What I don't get is not letting them train. They have the venue and access to the livestock. Give them a chance

    Reply
  • September 27, 2019 at 1:21 am
    Permalink

    👎

    Reply
  • September 27, 2019 at 1:22 am
    Permalink

    Angola most definitely has not lost its reputation as being harsh, bloody, and scary in Louisiana.

    Reply
  • September 27, 2019 at 1:27 am
    Permalink

    Am I the only one getting 'Deadman In Wonderland' vibes?

    Reply
  • September 27, 2019 at 1:36 am
    Permalink

    So we take the rode away and take away the only way they have to make money to make some people on the outside happy wtf! Phili great job on this doc! Keep up the good work!

    Reply
  • September 27, 2019 at 1:39 am
    Permalink

    Allowing training would be good, but I would also.like to see it stay on the typical rodeo events. I have heard of the poker table one as well as the stay in the hoola-hoop one ( never heard of the poker chip one but I'm guessing it is done elsewhere) but the thought of games where they are sitting ducks just sounds like a bad idea, even worse then bull or bare back bronc riding.

    Reply
  • September 27, 2019 at 1:55 am
    Permalink

    I feel like the system AS IS can be called exploitative, but said qualms about said system can be fairly easily addressed.

    One of those issues being that many inmates don't have a reliable alternative to raise legal fees and investigative budgets.

    2 cents an hour sounds far more exploitative than the rodeo IMHO. I'm not suggesting they get minimum wage here but even one or two dollars per hour, non-taxable, would be a fucking godsend to these folks.

    Reply
  • September 27, 2019 at 1:56 am
    Permalink

    I think it's mostly a good thing, certainly not perfect but good

    Reply
  • September 27, 2019 at 2:04 am
    Permalink

    I live in Louisiana and have been to the rodeo several times and the actual rodeo pales in comparison to the craft fair. I’ve brought my daughter, starting at the age of 10, with me each time and it was an incredible lesson in seeing people for more than just their past mistakes. The inmates that get to sell their goods outside of the fences also get to have their entire family out for each of those days, they can interact with their children, taking them on little carnival rides and buying them ice cream, it has more of a family reunion feel and outsiders get to see them as the people they are not the mistakes they’ve made. I was always taught Angola was the prison that, if you were sent there, you never left, but now thanks to the money brought in from the rodeo they can take in inmates with shorter sentences and offer varying rehabilitation programs. Every inmate I talked to at that craft fair was so incredibly proud to share all that they’ve learned from programs and all of the time and effort they’ve put all year long into their leather work, wood work, metal work, cooking skills, sewing skills, agriculture skills, painting and sculpting. The men that get to move on from Angola learn what they need to make it in the world and the ones that don’t get to leave get to experience days of normalcy with their family and 10’s of 1,000’s of everyday people. The system may not be perfect, but no one who goes to the event can deny the happiness of everyone attending.

    Reply
  • September 27, 2019 at 2:08 am
    Permalink

    💙

    Reply
  • September 27, 2019 at 2:12 am
    Permalink

    Is anyone else reminded of Deadman Wonderland when watching this?

    Reply
  • September 27, 2019 at 2:16 am
    Permalink

    I'm for the rodeo although it's obvious exploitation. If they get rid of the rodeo what other recourse do prisoners have to earn significant amounts of money?

    Reply
  • September 27, 2019 at 2:17 am
    Permalink

    I mean, as long as no one is dying or being permanently crippled, that's fine by me. Just use some of the money for better healthcare, animal care and let the inmates prepare, y'know. Safety first and all. But I see no downsides to this.

    Reply
  • September 27, 2019 at 2:36 am
    Permalink

    it's not like a rodeo is their only option. If they want to host an event that raises money for the prison why not do something that doesn't pose the threat of bodily harm?

    Reply
  • September 27, 2019 at 2:38 am
    Permalink

    As someone who participates in rodeo events myself I am very much in favor of this program. To someone outside of the agricultural or rodeo community it’s easy to pass a hard judgement on this event, but these inmates smile and laugh through it all. Getting thrown by a bull hurts less than people think it would. Sure you wake up sore the next morning but you’ll be ok. The money aspect some could argue closing down the rodeos and using the money for running the prison and getting more staff and more, but this is a constant revenue stream for the prison and the inmates as well. The craft show is an excellent example of why it’s important. Normally while being incarcerated you don’t have these opportunities in such a scale. The trade shows at rodeos collect enough total revenue that in many cases it rivals the main event itself, which means more money in the pocket of the seller than in the hands of the prison. Now from an animal stand point you won’t see a more cared for animal than a bucking horse or bull, for one they are bred to be buckers, and these animals love their jobs. They will load right up on a chute no problem most days and you can sit on top of them in a pen, but as soon as that gate opens they go to work and do their best. In my home state of Wyoming we have several animal and inmate programs for breaking horses and bonding with those mustangs which is an incredible bond, as well as fostered or abused rescue dogs who the inmates help rehabilitate. Now they say no prior knowledge and training comes before, but with this event being around as long as it has there is always another inmate who has been through it and will tell you how the event will work and how to behave around these animals. Now I do think that they should be given some amount of coaching or practice not just for safety but to be able to better perform and really make the competition look more professional than just kinda a rookie year novice event. With all that being said this program does much more good than bad as some may argue for supporting both funds to run the prison but to also allow the inmates a release from prison life and a chance to support their families in the inside.

    Reply
  • September 27, 2019 at 3:03 am
    Permalink

    Ugh.

    Reply
  • September 27, 2019 at 3:08 am
    Permalink

    On a personal level, I find Rodeos to be immoral simply because I think it's wrong to put yourself directly in harm's way for entertainment. But on a social, libertarian level, I'm not opposed. I would just recommend these guys be allowed to select something like a list of events they're willing to perform and have the prison staff organize it. Then give them the opportunity to practice.
    Also, they need more opportunities to make money besides the rodeo and it'll only help the prison income if they take a tax and lower the desperation for such a dangerous attempt to earn money.

    Reply
  • September 27, 2019 at 3:09 am
    Permalink

    Lol just spent last weekend at Angola for a retreat🤟🏻
    we literally had to put our hands on the execution mat and say an our father… it was fucked up
    We also met with reformed criminals who led us through mass etc

    There was a lottttt more but yea it was interesting

    Reply
  • September 27, 2019 at 3:11 am
    Permalink

    Consent under duress is no consent at all.

    Reply
  • September 27, 2019 at 3:12 am
    Permalink

    4:45 "I didn't even know all bulls was male"
    wow

    Reply
  • September 27, 2019 at 3:18 am
    Permalink

    There is almost no rehabilitation in US prisons. I don’t think this is one of the exceptions.

    Reply
  • September 27, 2019 at 3:21 am
    Permalink

    Before i watch your episode I'm going to preclude my opinion. Farming and Ranch style life is important and games around work is where rodeo came from. So is it bad to enjoy work and get games around it. I am posting this before I watch your show. I am just showing my opinion as a Wyoming man

    Reply
  • September 27, 2019 at 3:25 am
    Permalink

    Shouldn't we focus on making these people into individuals we want as our neighbors when they get out of prison or jail? These people looked like they felt human. The craft tents have a lower percentage taken from them than any street fair out there. The two cents for normal days is bogus and there should definitely be training for the bull events. That's a joke.

    Reply
  • September 27, 2019 at 3:35 am
    Permalink

    “Its not about people getting hurt” then let them train like what!?

    This is like that old tale of the rich mans ship, with a bunch of poor people locked in the undercarriage, the rich throw coins in to watch the poor fight for it.

    Reply
  • September 27, 2019 at 3:38 am
    Permalink

    It's not fair to abuse bulls for human entertainment.

    Reply
  • September 27, 2019 at 3:41 am
    Permalink

    Call me crazy, but a bunch of you people are not thinking straight. Allowing rapists and murderers a chance to make a buck or two but putting themselves SOMEWHAT at risk (helmet and pads) seems generous and I don't see a problem with it. Why feel bad for them and forget about their victims? This would be different if it wasn't a maximum security prison.

    The only reason you should be opposed to this is if you don't think they deserve this opportunity. Not poor rapist/murderer…

    Reply
  • September 27, 2019 at 4:00 am
    Permalink

    How about instead of something as dangerous as a rodeo, they just play some football or something?

    Reply
  • September 27, 2019 at 4:22 am
    Permalink

    It's the exploitation of legally owned slaves. Nothing to see here.

    Reply
  • September 27, 2019 at 4:25 am
    Permalink

    Man wants to make money to support his family from inside prison. Prison gives him the choice of doing safe field labor all day to make less money in two 40 hour work weeks than it costs me to take a bus into downtown or he can sign up to be slotted into one of many highly dangerous events he has no say in deciding amongst. Maybe it's a choice, but it's a bit of a sadistic choice.

    Heckin… 2 cents an hour? If you worked 10 hours a day for all 365 days in a year that's only $73!

    Reply
  • September 27, 2019 at 4:44 am
    Permalink

    I grew up around rodeo. If you don't train the participants, it's a disservice to the men and the animals.

    Reply
  • September 27, 2019 at 4:52 am
    Permalink

    positive

    Reply
  • September 27, 2019 at 4:55 am
    Permalink

    They should give these inmates opportunity to train and work with animals in general.

    Reply
  • September 27, 2019 at 5:00 am
    Permalink

    They should be allowed to chose their events. Also, cut the bulls out of the show. Bull riders train for thousands of hours to interact with them. This is inhumane for both humans and the bulls. You do not need bulls to have a good rodeo. Cut the bulls, give inmates competition choice and keep it going.

    Reply
  • September 27, 2019 at 5:00 am
    Permalink

    What about the bulls though? Are they treated well, driven to anger on purpose every time ?
    How do the prisoners feel about it? Surely there's a way they could entertain without getting hurt.

    Reply
  • September 27, 2019 at 5:01 am
    Permalink

    inmates are humans too if they will do the rodeo they should have that choice .

    Reply
  • September 27, 2019 at 5:27 am
    Permalink

    What the actual fuck. This is horrifying. Craft fair for prisoners? All for it. Sending untrained, unpractice, random prisoners into a ring with a bull? That's just horrific.

    Reply
  • September 27, 2019 at 5:36 am
    Permalink

    It's more animal cruelty than anything, but I know rodeos aren't going away anytime soon. As far as the prisoners, it seems like it is an increase in quality of life and I'm a fan of that considering how awful the prison system is known to be here in the states. If the money is going towards better quality in the prison then I'm all for it.

    Reply
  • September 27, 2019 at 6:40 am
    Permalink

    The fact that they cant train for it it's quite messed up becuase that not enough training will allow injuries easier but then when you consider that moajorite of this people are heavy criminals (rapist, murderers) with the exception of wrongly convicted; then i dont feel so bad about it. Idk it feels like it's fair. I am happy that they can share their art.

    Reply
  • September 27, 2019 at 6:42 am
    Permalink

    I saw a lot of benefits to the prison and the inmates this rodeo provides. And while I can see where people would think it is exploitative to the inmates how much worse would it be for these inmates and the prison if they didn't have the rodeo. Another question to ask is if you get rid of the rodeo what are possible replacements for the rodeo that will have the same benefit that it currently does?

    Reply
  • September 27, 2019 at 7:15 am
    Permalink

    I’ve been to the Angola rodeo. It’s exactly what you expect. It’s fun but also worrying. Bought an awesome cutting board from a guy. Shouldn’t have looked up what he was in for though, bc now all I see when I use that cutting board is that a child rapist made it…

    Reply
  • September 27, 2019 at 7:55 am
    Permalink

    each and everyone of them would still sign up for the rodeo even if there was no cash prize.

    Reply
  • September 27, 2019 at 8:07 am
    Permalink

    this was very biased. the different views that you offered were offset by the amount of time you gave to each. 90% was about how the inmates need money and it is the best alternative due to not getting paid a fair wage so they basically have no choice but to participate while the last 10 % was "well atleast they are getting money." "cmon Phil can we get all the facts? stop pandering,you're better than that.

    Reply
  • September 27, 2019 at 8:17 am
    Permalink

    I believe that the rodeo in general is great, tough I don’t see reasons why prison rodeos should have way more dangerous events than normal rodeos (certainly when you are assigned to a random one…). And I do think that the wages they make are actually in humane, make sure that they can at least get about 50 cents to a dollar for a full days work, it’s still not much, but at least you’d be able to work towards something, which is near impossible with 2 cents an hour

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *