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"Tossing Away the Keys" icon

Tossing Away the Keys

The Louisiana State Penitentiary, Angola, holds more than five-thousand prisoners, mostly African Americans. In the 1970s, the state's politicians changed the definition of a life sentence. A life sentence in Louisiana now means just that. Unless they're pardoned by the Governor, inmates today know they will never again see the outside world -- that they will die inside Angola prison. Tossing Away the Keys is their story. There is an audio track as well as a written transcript.


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Karen Evans
Karen Evans (Faculty)
14 years ago
This site accurately portrays the anguish and despair of the inmates at Angola. Listening to the inmates talk about the Bill Cosby show or superhighways illustrates how different their life (and understanding of the outside world) is. An excellent touch in the material is the sounds of the prison; the guards, the dogs, the clank of the doors shutting and locking. The noises assist in illustrating what prison life is like for the prisoners.
Time spent reviewing site: 40 minutes