JOLIET (WEEK) – A well-known musician gives inmates the gift of music with the blessing of the governor and other heads of state.
Stateville Correctional Center in Joliet now has a state-of-the-art music studio, complete with all equipment donated by “Imagine Justice”, a non-profit organization founded by Grammy-winning artist, Emmy and Academy Award, Common.
“I personally know how music can heal and allow the human spirit to be free regardless of your surroundings. I wanted to provide a world-class studio experience to support these residents as they commit to changing their lives, ”Common said in a prepared statement.
“And this is just the start,” he added.
There are nine students in the program’s first 12-week course, which includes lessons in songwriting, audio engineering, and music production.
The course is taught by musician and songwriter Antony Ablan who started a similar program at the Cook County Jail.
“Our mission is to create a world-class music studio and program to make it easy to create, collaborate and learn,” said Ablan.
“We have no doubt that there are many voices in Stateville that should be heard. So we’re going to make room. Music helps us all feel better and be better, ”Ablan also said.
The music provides “a sense of purpose and hope,” said Rob Jeffreys, director of the state prison.
Governor JB Pritzker also praised the program.
“A truly just justice system protects us all, and thanks to the generosity of Common and Imagine Justice, we are taking another step forward to provide more opportunities for education and expression in Stateville,” said the governor.
Each inmate who completes the course will save time on their sentence, according to a press release.