Billy Bragg "Prisoner" Campaign Successful
A campaign to allow UK prisoners to use steel string guitars has been successful.
Led by Billy Bragg the campaign has received support from Radiohead's Ed O'Brien and Philip Selway, Elbow's Guy Garvey, Pink Floyd's Dave Gilmour and former Smiths legend Johnny Marr. The campaign was also led by Cardiff West MP Kevin Brennan, who has commented:
"This is a victory for common sense and I'm pleased after months of campaigning the UK Government has listened. The power of music to help prisoners to rehabilitate is well documented. I started the campaign after prisoners wrote to me explaining how they had saved from their small prison wages to buy guitars and how therapeutic learning to play the guitar had been for them before the ban."
Bill Bragg, who founded the Jail Guitar Doors rehabilitation charity added:
"As an incentive to engage in rehabilitation individual access to steel strung guitars can really help the atmosphere on a prison wing. I've had a number of projects involving guitars on hold which now will be able to go ahead, and will allow those using music in prisons to get on with this important work."