This is a case study of changes in sentencing policies in the State of Louisiana. It presents issues through he eyes of inmates serving life sentences, without possibility of parole, in Angola State Prison. Included are comments from selected prison officials who have lost confidence in the inflexibility of the policy. The site also provides a transcript so students can read what is being said. This is appropriate for a course on Corrections at either the undergraduate or graduate level.
Type of Material:
Class room discussion, Homework
Browser, Real player, Sound card
Identify Major Learning Goals:
To outline some of the instated consequences of sentencing offenders to life without the possibility of parole.
Expose users to opinions of inmates and corrections officials who have first hand experience with Louisianas life sentence policies.
Trace the evolution of capital sentences in Louisiana.
The student will get a different and real perspective on lives of convicts.
Target Student Population:
Select high school students, college students, interest groups
Prerequisite Knowledge or Skills:
The site presents issues of crowding, expense, and violence as well as the human suffering caused by an inflexible sentencing policy.
Students get to hear individual perspectives through audio.
Students get a realistic look at prison life, including prisoners hopes and dreams.
The site is light on independent research data to support some of the narrators statements about the impact of life sentencing policies in Louisiana.
Presents only the inmates accounts of how they came to be incarcerated.
May be driven by a liberal agenda
Potential Effectiveness as a Teaching Tool
Hearing the prisoners voices is powerful for students.
Explains their own experiences in prison, rather than reading from a textbook.
It presents the human cost of life sentences to both inmates and staff.
We dont know if the prisoner experiences are the same still.
Limited perspective from one individual.
Does not present any input or opinions from legislators, citizens, or victims.
Ease of Use for Both Students and Faculty
Excellent for presenting the emotional impact of a life sentence and the peripheral consequences associated with depriving human beings of all hope for improving their situation.
Having the transcript and audio helps students with different learning styles
Good for students with disabilities
Snapshots of individuals would be helpful.
Does not explore the powerful emotional issues which precipitated the hardening of legislative attitudes toward life sentences.
Audio wont play with Safari browser
Hard to listen to just the audio.
Did not function properly on a Mac.
Other Issues and Comments:
At just over 25 minutes, the audio portion is short enough to be used to stimulate class room discussion of sentencing policies such as Three Strikes and other get tough policies.
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