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In this study a sociological analysis is made of the transition of the Louisiana penal system. The study deals almost entirely with the Louisiana State Penitentiary at Angola which is the only penal institution being operated in the state at the present time. The study first considers the American prison system and makes an analysis of a modern prison giving emphasis to its structure, its method of operation and its program for the treatment of the convicted criminal. The structure and methods of operating the old Louisiana penitentiary, consisting of a series of farm camps with an absolute minimum of trained personnel, are presented for the purpose of explaining the need for a new penal system. A lack of adequate physical facilities and the absence of an organized program of treatment and rehabilitation prevented the institution from fulfilling its responsibilities to society in the matter of reforming criminals. With legislative approval and planning by trained penologists from the Federal prison system a new centralized penitentiary was constructed and new methods of operation were applied. The development of industrial facilities at the prison is expected to change the institution from apredominantly agricultural operation to one of industry and fanning with a greater emphasis being placed on the training of the prisoners for a life after their release. A comparison and contrast of the old prison system to the new system are made in this study and both are evaluated as to their efficiency in fulfilling the functions of the prison system.