Mudcat Café message #2235027 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #107679   Message #2235027
Posted By: Anne Lister
12-Jan-08 - 06:48 PM
Thread Name: Guitars in prison (UK)
Subject: RE: Guitars in prison (UK)
I don't love criminals. I do, however, want them to change and become citizens who don't offend once they're released. Their punishment is to be deprived of their freedom, not to be cast out from the rest of humanity and ignored. And in the case of the work I was doing, although the criminal may well deserve punishment, the partner and children of the prisoner concerned do not - and the results would benefit them quite as much as the prisoner.

Music, art, theatre, stories, literature - all of these art forms enable the inmates to see a little beyond their cell walls and see themselves as a better person. Being treated as a fellow human being instead of a caged beast also gives them a sense of our shared humanity.

I've also become aware since working with such a variety of prisoners in a wide variety of prisons that there's a very thin dividing line between "them" and "us". And that I've had a very lucky life compared with some. The term "victims of crime" is really not a clear statement - an awful lot of the inmates are every bit as much victims of crime as the people whose lives they've affected.