June 21st, 2004

don't fear death

doing time

In Louisiana life in prison means just that. Despite the misconception, there are no parole opportunities for “lifers”. 85% of all inmates in Angola, will die in Angola. When polled over 70% of Louisiana voters believed that convicts sentenced to life would be released in 16-20 years. It is a misconception. People also tend to believe that those serving life sentences are cold, cruel murderers. This isn’t the case either.

• There are 3,885 inmates serving life in Louisiana
o 75% are African American
o 77 were convicted between the ages of 15-17
o 287 were convicted between the ages of 18-19
o 1,875 were first offenders
• There are 569 youth offenders between the ages of 14 – 19 in state prisons
o 76% are African American
o 4% are female
o 469 are first offenders – that is, they have no previous records
o 23% were convicted for drug related crimes, 35% for property crimes and 37% for violent crimes
• There are 2,552 women in prison
o 61% are African American
o 1,195 are first offenders
o 50 are under 20 years of age
o 80% of women that kill abusers in self-defense will do time.
o 40% were convicted for drug related crimes and 22% for violent crimes
• After serving 3 years, very few inmates receive any visitors
• Inmates at Angola work 8 hours a day for two cents per hour
• The US has the highest prison population of any country, making up 25% of the world’s prison population.
• Louisiana has the highest rate of imprisonment at a cost of about $15,000 annually per prisoner
• Louisiana has a recidivism rate of about 70%
• There are 86 offenders of Death Row, three of them are under 25 and 46 of them are first offenders, five of them were convicted while they were under 19, one was 15 when convicted