ANGOLA, La. – They're often thrown like rag dolls or risk being gored by bucking bulls and broncos. But in those few seconds in the spotlight of the rodeo, they are part of the world again.
Some of Louisiana's most violent criminals are the stars of the Angola Prison Rodeo, the nation's longest-running prison rodeo that this year celebrates 50 years. The event has grown from a small "fun" event for prisoners into big business, with proceeds going into the Louisiana State Penitentiary Inmate Welfare Fund for inmate education and recreational supplies.
Only the prison's best-behaved inmates participate, and they have to pass a physical. Thousands of others make and sell food, arts and crafts.
The rodeo is open to the public this weekend.