Prison Super Bowl?

An inmate-athlete at Angola  (Photo from the documentary Angola Prison Football)

An inmate-athlete at Angola (Photo from the documentary Angola Prison Football)

You’ve heard about the Super Bowl, but have you heard about the Crunch Bowl, the prison equivalent of the American football extravaganza?

Football and other sports play an important role in the rehabilitation of prisoners.

Watch a clip from TV channel MSNBC’s Lockup, which takes us inside Angola, also known as the Lousiana State Penitentiary, America’s largest prison with a population of over 5000 inmates and 1800 staff members. The clip mentions the prison’s history – it started as a slave plantation and got its name from the country where most of the slaves came from – and also shows rehabilitation through American football, boxing and the prison’s famous but controversial rodeo.

Watch a clip from the documentary Angola Prison Football.

See photos of American football at Angola.

See photos of the rodeo at Angola.

Read more about the history of Angola and about the facilities there, which include a firestation, a church, a cemetery – many of the prisoners there are serving life sentences – and an airstrip so that prisoners can be flown in.

Read an academic perspective on prison sports, including a discussion of whether or not prison sports increase inmate aggression.

What are your thoughts on this issue?

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About witsjusticeproject
The Wits Justice Project combines journalism, advocacy, law and education to make the criminal justice system work better for all.

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