But, the prison has other ways the public can support its wood-working shop and prisoner rehabilitation programs.
Louisiana State Penitentiary, more commonly called Angola, no longer makes caskets for the public. In the early 2000s, the caskets were made for special guests who spent time and money supporting prison ministries there.
- The Graham family.
- Former President Richard Nixon’s special counsel Chuck Colson, founder of Prison Fellowship, who served seven months in federal prison for obstruction of justice and died in 2012.
- Former New Orleans Saints head coach Bum Phillips, who died in 2013.
Although the public cannot purchase an Angola casket, the prison operates a historical museum and gift shop, where donations and proceeds are used for prisoner welfare and rehabilitation programs. There is a prison museum with free admission. Some items from the gift shop are available online.
At the museum, Angola displays the horse-drawn hearse that carries prisoner caskets from one of the facility’s many chapels to its cemetery.
Angola also hosts the country’s largest and longest-running prison rodeo multiple times throughout the year. During the rodeo, prisoner artwork is for sale. Much of the art is made in the same wood-working program that produced the Graham caskets.