Louisiana's Former Death Row is Now Holding Kids
January 26, 2023
Louisiana State Penitentiary, also known as Angola Prison, is the largest maximum-security adult prison in the US. Angola is the perfect symbol for the criminal legal system’s ongoing legacy of racism. It’s transformed from a slave plantation to a camp for mostly Black laborers exploited by convict leasing, all before becoming a prison. For over a century, Angola has been a site of human rights abuses, which continue to this day. This fall, a new chapter of horror began on its grounds: the detention of children in the same cell block that once held incarcerated people awaiting the death penalty.
In August, the ACLU and partner organizations filed a class action suit, Alex A v. Edwards, seeking to block the transfer of children to Angola. The lawsuit is pending, and in October, the state began moving children as young as 14 into Angola, a move that violates state and federal laws. Here to talk to us about how we got here and how the ACLU and community partners are continuing to fight the avoidable and unconstitutional detention of children in Angola are Gina Womack, executive director and co-founder, Families and Friends of Louisiana’s Incarcerated Children, and Tammie Gregg, Deputy Director of the ACLU’s National Prison Project.