Angola inmates ship repaired wheel chairs to Cuba
ANGOLA - A handful of Louisiana State Penitentiary inmates packed a shipping container full with wheelchairs Friday to send to Cuba to help people in need.
It's part of the "Wheels of the World" program where inmates repair old, worn wheelchairs, crutches, walkers and canes to ship to countries around the world. Pictures of people from around the world crawling to move around remind Angola inmates that they're making a difference.
"When I seen them it touched my heart that there are people that's unable to help themselves. So being here at this job really touched my heart," said inmate Albert Hills.
Hills has been serving a 100 year sentence at Angola for the past 18 years for attempted murder as an habitual offender. Hills and other inmates work eight-hour days, five days a week to fix the wheelchairs. Angola Warden Burl Cain sees the program as a way to teach inmates to give.
"Inmates are takers. They take what they want," he said. "This teaches them to give back, which is really the road to rehabilitation for them, but they're so passionate about it because they're giving someone freedom to be mobile and move around and so forth."
The inmates sent 220 wheelchairs that will make the 1,000 mile trip to Cuba. Inmates will continue to rehab wheelchairs while rehabilitating themselves.
"Being here changed my life. It gave me a different view of life," said Hills. "Well now I value life compared to then I didn't value anything, and I was very selfish. It definitely changed my life you know."
Angola is one of 17 prisons across the country participating in the "Wheels for the World" program.