The Angola Prison Rodeo website states, “What began 40 years ago as a ‘fun’ thing by a handful of rodeo-loving inmates and employees is now big business. Proceeds from the Angola Prison Rodeo cover rodeo expenses and supplement the Louisiana State Penitentiary Inmate Welfare Fund which provides for inmate educational and recreational supplies.”

Big business and fun?

What about the victims (many of whom were murdered) whose lives were forever impacted by these criminals’ actions?

Criminals already are taken care of through our tax dollars with athletic opportunities, education, medical care, dental care, food and housing, benefits their victims had to earn on their own.

If the rodeo is to continue reaping a “big business” monetary benefit, why not donate all of the proceeds to a victim’s family fund or organization?

If inmates truly want to turn their lives around and do some good, this would be a great way to offer a kind gesture to the society they negatively impacted through their criminal activity.

As law-abiding citizens, we already are forced to provide for an inmate’s welfare through high taxes; meanwhile, victim’s advocate groups must rely solely on private contributions. Something’s wrong here.

As for the rodeo itself, why have we allowed incarceration to be a “fun” experience? What message does this send to future, up-and-coming felons? Prison is supposed to be punishment, not a reward.

I have boycotted these rodeos and anything inmates do that fails to put the victim first. I only wish those who attend these events and reward murderers through money and applause can put that toward victim’s rights groups instead.

John Plaisance

welder

Gretna