12 April 2006

KLSP-FM (91.7) - the nation's only licensed prison radio station

This is just the beginning of an article by Paul Von Zielbauer from the NY Times that I found interesting:

ANGOLA, La., April 6 — KLSP, a radio station with one turntable, six employees and a $48 weekly payroll, has limited reach over this patch of swampy farmland and razor wire northwest of Baton Rouge. It is meant to be that way.

The station director and most of the D.J.'s are convicted murderers. Most of its 5,100 listeners are serving life sentences at the Louisiana State Penitentiary here. The 100-foot metal pole that transmits the station's F.C.C.-approved signal — a relatively weak but consistent 100 watts — rises from a grassy knoll behind death row.

Death row, home to 83 men, is where KLSP-FM (91.7), which prison officials say is the nation's only licensed prison radio station, finds its most dedicated audience and inspiration for its core mission: spreading the word of Jesus (and an occasional message from the warden) to men doomed to die behind bars.

"Our greatest challenge is to give hope where there is hopelessness," said Burl Cain, the warden at Angola, where the average sentence is 89.9 years with almost no chance of parole.

"This radio station helps do that — it beams out positive information, positive gospel music," he said. "Even gospel rap."

The station is in a two-room cinderblock shed next to Angola's main prison compound. KLSP, "the incarceration station, the station that kicks behind the bricks," as Sirvoris Sutton, a D.J. and program manager, puts it, broadcasts from 6 a.m. to 2 a.m. daily.

A Harris AirWave mixing board, two CD players, an aging Gem Sound turntable and a digital playlist pump out a steady variety of gospel — praise and worship, uptempo, quartet and choir — during work hours. After 6 p.m., the prison's six D.J.'s, who earn 20 cents an hour, spin an eclectic mix of bluegrass, hip-hop and golden oldies. Friday nights, after a talk show for 170 Muslim inmates, KLSP reveals its regional bias, playing hours of swamp pop, a Cajun brand of rock 'n' roll.
Continue reading HERE.

3 comments:

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Ken said...

In 2002 I traveled to Angola Prison to rebuild KLSP. The equipment was delapidated and the station was barely on the air. We raised over $100,000 for new equipment and completely computerized the station. What I didn't know was that most of the inmates at the inmate-run station had never touched a computer so I had Ted the engineer reinstall the old turntable. Rev AJ, Prentice, Carlos, Robin and the other inmates who were the DJ's at the time were great guys. They committed some huge crimes earlier in their lives but I enjoyed getting to know them. - Ken Mayfield

www.muebles-en-leganes.com said...

This will not succeed in reality, that is what I think.