Louisiana’s maximum-security prison is medieval

The population of Texas is half that of the UK, while the state’s prison population is larger than those of the UK, France and Germany combined. But it is Louisiana that stands out. The state has almost 34,000 prisoners, 94 per cent of them men, resulting in an extraordinarily high male incarceration rate of 1,387 per 100,000 residents, which is more than double the national average. Louisiana is the capital of US incarceration, and Angola is the state’s only maximum-security jail. It is the country’s largest, covering an 18,000-acre site that is larger than Manhattan. At any one time around 5,200 men are imprisoned here. And most are here to stay: the average sentence for an inmate in Angola is 92 years; over 70 per cent of them will never be released. (my emphasis)

Richard Davies. Extreme Economies (p. 77). Transworld. Kindle Edition.

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