Country music has a long and unique relationship with the corrections system. Several of the genre’s biggest stars served prison sentences, and have written some of their most familiar songs about their time behind bars. Legendary albums have been recorded in unique settings such as San Quentin, Folsom Prison, and Angola.
When Merle Haggard passed away last week on his 79th birthday, country music lost one of its best storytellers.
For decades, Haggard built his legacy as a rough-and-tumble country outlaw, telling stories of his own troubled past, which involved repeated stints in both reform schools and, later, in prison.