LSU women's basketball visits Louisiana State Penitentiary
Kim Mulkey and her LSU women's basketball team toured the Louisiana State Penitentiary, commonly referred to as Angola, on Wednesday afternoon and left with a better understanding of how the prison system works, while also learning more about the prisoners.
"I mean, I honestly was kind of scared. I didn't really know what to expect," LSU senior forward Emily Ward said after their visit. "The only thing I knew was what they showed in movies, but it was definitely kind of eye-opening to see how they live like their everyday lives."
The Tiger team took a private tour of the facility and then headed to the gym to do a little shoot-around with nearly 100 inmates.
It was a chance for the ladies to interact with prisoners, some of whom are incarcerated for murder, and a chance to learn more about their mistakes and what they've done since being sent to prison.
"I grew up in Baltimore. I used to go to school across the street from a jail, so I kind of I've seen this before," Tiger forward Angel Reese said of the trip. "I've seen different experiences before, where many people don't get a second chance at life, and having these opportunities to go out and talk to people like this has always inspired me."
The team then had a more private meeting with a handful of inmates who run counseling programs at the prison and have turned away from their criminal past to lead mentoring roles in an attempt to help others.
For Ward, it was a redeeming aspect of prison that she did not expect to see on the tour. "It was very eye-opening. I love hearing about all the programs that they have, you know, like the Christ program and just mentors and students and all that kind of stuff is really cool, too."