Inmates participating in the Angola State Penitentiary Rodeo stand together for the opening prayer.
The prison has held a biannual rodeo since 1965. It gives the inmates, most of whom are serving long sentences for serious crimes, an incentive to behave in order to participate. It gives them a chance to win money and prestige, and the craft fair that accompanies the rodeo allows inmates to show and sell their arts and crafts and make money and learn new skills.
Under warden Burl Cain the rodeo and craft fair is credited with seeing violence in the prison decrease dramatically and the lessons learnt at Angola are being shared with other prison populations around the world.