ANGOLA, LA (WAFB) - Although the Angola Prison Rodeo Facebook page now says tickets are sold out for the final two events in October, the "Hobby Craft" tickets are still available at the door on Sunday, October 18th and Sunday, October 25th.
It's a concept not many people are familiar with, but one Warden Burl Cain says works well at Angola. Inmates who have reached Trustee status create art, furniture, jewelry, and other items that they sell to thousands of customers at a massive festival.
Cain says the money raised from hosting the fall event between the concessions, rodeo and hobby craft tickets, helps pay for educational programs at Louisiana State Penitentiary.
"We have about 450 vocational slots and so it pays for the supplies, the tools and even the teachers who are inmates," Cain said.
He also says the inmates like to negotiate with customers, meaning some big bargains are available.
Robert Bone has been in prison for twenty years and sells his paintings.
"I'm a believer that if you choose your behavior, you choose your consequence," Bone said. "People come to Angola and you can do whatever you want at Angola. You can try to better yourself and become the man God intended you to be or you can lay up in a cell."
Bone says he has donated some of his work to charity and uses some of the money from his paintings to buy supplies and to help his family.
"That's every dad's dream to be able to provide for his son and family," Bone said.
"They've done horrible things, but our job is to change their behavior and you're helping us do it," Cain said when thanking the public for supporting the event.
For more information: http://angolarodeo.com/