Angola is Louisiana’s state penitentiary and is estimated to be one of the oldest and largest prisons in the United States with 5,000 inmates and 1,800 staff members. Of the 5,000 inmates, nearly 4,000 are African American. It is located on an 18,000 acre plantation, named after the area in Africa where the former slaves originated. Angola is still run as a working farm; Warden Cain once said that the key to running a peaceful maximum security prison was that “you’ve got to keep the inmates working all day so they’re tired at night.”
The Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution officially abolished and continues to prohibit slavery and involuntary servitude, except as punishment for a crime.
The Washington Post reported on July 11, 2008 that the United States has 2.3 million persons behind bars, more than any other nation in the world. A report issued by the U.S. Department of Justice on December 11, 2008 said that over 7.3 million people were on probation, in jail or on parole at the end of 2007, equivalent to 3.2 percent of all U.S. adult residents or one in every 31 adults. For black men aged between 20-34, one in nine was in jail. (The Guardian, March 1, 2008).
Has modern day slavery been hiding in plain sight, or is each individual responsible for his actions?