Prison Diaries


Article in today’s Guardian about the beneficial impact of Music in prisons:

“…  Lee Davies, who has worked at Birmingham prison for 18 years and is now head of learning and skills there, believes the choir is helping prisoners get ready for going into work once released.

“In prison there has to be a purpose. This is one of the ways to develop that purpose,” he says.

“There’s a sort of team work, the communication skills and that inner confidence that’s built through the choir.”

Bastock, who runs the choir with fellow musician Pete Churchill, echoes that. “Their friendships improve, their inclusion socially. It affects other aspects of their life beyond the choir. They feel that they have got a role,” she says.

One of the choir members, Tudor, serving a 12-year sentence for conspiracy to import cocaine, says the rehearsals allow the men to drop their usual prison persona and prepare for life on release.

“The environment we live in here is very obviously male dominated, very loud, very negatively loud and for me this is an emotional release. I like to come here and make a noise for the right reasons,” he says.

“This is a little bit of normality. It gives you an idea of what it’s like on the outside.””

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