NBC News fixture Lester Holt spent two nights in a notorious prison as part of a report on criminal justice reform, the AP reports. The newsman was locked up inside Louisiana State Penitentiary.
“The sobering trip frames Friday’s ‘Dateline NBC’ report about 1990s-era ‘tough on crime’ legislation and what it has meant for society today,” David Bauder writes in the AP piece. “The show is repeated Sunday night on MSNBC, along with a Holt-moderated town hall meeting from inside another well-known prison, New York’s Sing Sing.”
Bauder adds: “Holt gained access to the sprawling Louisiana prison known as ‘Angola’ because the desire to confront these issues coincided with Gov. John Bel Edwards’ attempts to lower the population inside his state’s facilities.”
For two nights, Holt reportedly slept in a cell on Angola’s death row.
“The man in the cell next to him hadn’t been outside in four years,” Bauder writes.
Holt is quoted saying: “The only time I did feel perfectly safe was inside my cell with the door locked.”