During our recent stop in Louisiana, the Mobile East Team closed our Booth in New Orleans for two days and headed to the Louisiana State Penitentiary, also known as Angola. There, we found community both behind bars and outside the cell blocks.
Clifford Hampton and Kuantau Reeder have been incarcerated at the Louisiana State Penitentiary 51 years and 17 years, respectively. They discussed the choices and circumstances that brought them to prison, how their outlook has changed since their incarceration, and their hopes for the future. They also discussed punishment, redemption and forgiveness.
Maurice Rabalais and his mother, Dora Rabalais, talked about what it is like living, working and raising a family at Angola Prison. The Rabalais family has lived and worked at Angola Prison for three generations. Maurice and Dora talked about the closeness of the community of employees at Angola. Maurice spoke of how he feels at home as soon as he sees the Louisiana Penitentiary sign at the gates to the prison and that when he helps a co-worker at Angola it is likely he’s also helping a neighbor.