The Heart of Louisiana: Angola Syrup

Angola prisoners produce syrup from sugarcane

Angola Syrup

At The Louisiana State Penitentiary lies an artifact that allows for the production of Angola syrup, while also giving inmates an opportunity for work and activity.

Using a mule to turn the gears of a small sugarcane grinder, inmates at Angola work to produce syrup from cane. This machine was a part of an old sugar refinery that stood on the grounds of the penitentiary until the 1970s.

Former Angola warden Burl Cain said that the Angola syrup production technique gives the inmates the an opportunity for moral rehabilitation. The prisoners cultivate about an acre of sugarcane each year.

To learn more about the history of the Angola Prison, click here.