These Inmates Were Thrown Into The Air By Rampaging Bulls During An Annual Prison Rodeo

Only the best-behaved inmates are allowed to take part.

1. Some of Louisiana’s most violent criminals have taken part in America’s longest-running prison rodeo.

AP/Gerald Herbert

The annual Angola Prison Rodeo took place on Saturday in a 10,000-seater stadium located next to the jail.

Ironically only the best-behaved prisoners get to take part in events such as Convict Poker (above) during the rodeo.

2. The rodeo started in 1965 in a small arena built by a handful of inmates and prison personnel and was opened to the public in 1967.

AP/Gerald Herbert

In five decades the event has grown from a small event for prisoners into a big business that draws thousands of spectators.

3. Proceeds from the event go towards the prison’s Inmate Welfare Fund, which helps pay for the prisoners’ education and recreational supplies.

AP/Gerald Herbert

In events such as Guts & Glory, prisoners try to snatch a poker chip tied to a bull’s head.

Those competing in the rodeo have to pass a physical beforehand to see if they’re strong and healthy enough to take part.

4. According to the prison’s athletic director Gary Frank, thousands of other inmates work throughout the year making arts and crafts to sell at the event.

AP/Gerald Herbert

5. Frank said of those who take part in the rodeo: “They sometimes get hurt but they know the dangers.”

AP/Gerald Herbert

6. “Everybody has an inner kid in them and they just want to play. If they get into a fight, they don’t get to play – it helps take out the nonsense.”

AP/Gerald Herbert

7. The inmates also got to meet Miss Rodeo Louisiana Hannah Bergeron.

AP/Gerald Herbert

Sort of.

8. Milton Billiot, 44, who has been an inmate at Angola Prison since 1990 after he was jailed for shooting dead his cousin, said: “It makes me feel like somebody.”

AP/Gerald Herbert

9. “You come to Angola with a life sentence, you don’t feel like a person any more, you’re a nobody.”

AP/Gerald Herbert

10. “This gives me a chance to be somebody again, to entertain the people and just have fun.”

AP/Gerald Herbert

11. Angola prison is the largest maximum-security jail in the U.S., with a capacity for 6,300 inmates.

AP/Gerald Herbert

12. Frank said sports make the prison a safer place to live and work.

AP/Gerald Herbert

13. “It keeps them occupied, keeps their minds occupied. It also gives them a sense of pride and accomplishment,” he declared.

AP/Gerald Herbert

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