Angola Prison Rodeo: Hand Crafted Hobby Crafts - KATC.com | Continuous News Coverage | Acadiana-Lafayette

Angola Prison Rodeo: Hand Crafted Hobby Crafts

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Angola, La-

For eleven months of the year, inmates at Angola State Prison work on crafts to sell during rodeo season in October. 

One craftsman, John Sheehan, does leather work and sells almost everything he makes during rodeo season.

"The hobby craft that I do is sort of a relaxation, sort of a therapy just to relax in the off hours from my regular job. Because everyone in the prison system has a five day a week, 40 hour job," Sheehan said.

He tells KATC he gets compliments on his work, and takes pride in the work he puts out. 

The crafts section not only allows inmates to put money in their pocket, but the money raised also helps those inmates who are released back into society. 

Assistant Warden, Gary Young, tells KATC Angola is one of very few prisons where the money flow is from the inside out. 

"Each item that you see, each rocking chair, each painting that’s sold, that guy will pay five percent into W Feliciana tax base. 5 percent into the state tax base and then he keeps the remainder of that after he pays a small infrastructural maintenance fee. That allows him to be able to send money home,"  Young said. 

The inmates have been able to put children through college, send home Christmas and birthday gifts, and help their family members back home who are in need. 

During the rodeo, family members are allowed to come and visit with the inmates while they work to sell the crafts they have invested their time in. 

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