Angola prison
Louisiana State Penitentiary in Angola. (msppmoore/Flickr)

Gaming the System

Sporting events on the prison circuit

Angola prison
Scott Yorko

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Angola Rodeo, Louisiana State Penitentiary, Angola

Inside Baseball

Abe Streep plays baseball with convicted felons at California's San Quentin State Prison.

One hundred inmates compete before up to 12,000 spectators in ten events, including Convict Poker, in which four prisoners are seated at a card table in the ring and a bull is released. Last man sitting wins. April 21–22 and Sundays in October.

Eastern New York Correctional Facility Marathon, Napanoch
Runners train for months on this maximum-security prison’s third-of-a-mile dirt-and-blacktop track for the race, held the same day as the New York City Marathon. Ramon Cosme, serving two consecutive sentences of 15 years to life for robbery, won the 2011 edition, completing 78.5 laps in 4:08:13.

Penal Tour de France, Northern France
In 2009, in response to international criticism of French prison conditions, officials allowed nearly 200 male and female convicts to pedal 1,400 miles over 15 days past vineyards, along coastline, and through the Alps. The tour stopped at local prisons throughout the country to substitute riders, although six prisoners completed the entire ride. Breakaways were not permitted.

From Outside Magazine, Mar 2012 Lead Photo: msppmoore/Flickr