Jail Guitar Doors USA seeks a more fair and just America. We are a non-profit program that provides musical instruments and opportunities to help rehabilitate prisoners. We organize prison out-reach programs and produce public concert events. We advance new solutions to diminish prison violence. We support organizations that engage in policy reform efforts and partner with social service groups to help people in prison reconnect with the outside world.
In A Texas Jail, An Exclusive SXSW Concert
In 1978, The Clash released the song, "Jail Guitar Doors." The song tells the story of the imprisonment of their fellow musician Wayne Kramer. In 2007, to honor the life of Clash founder, Joe Strummer, Billy Bragg launches an initiative in England to provide musical equipment used to rehabilitate inmates serving time in Her Majesty’s Prisons in the United Kingdom. His initiative is named for that very same song, “Jail Guitar Doors.” In 2009, Wayne Kramer partners with Billy Bragg to found Jail Guitar Doors USA. Together, their combined effort continues the mission for prisoners in America. The circle is unbroken.
Jail Guitar Doors USA believes our country’s human and financial resources should be dedicated to education and ending poverty, the primary source of crime. We support public safety. We believe in accountability in a civilized society. We believe the punishment should fit the crime and that one is sentenced to prison as punishment, not for punishment.
We believe in reform and that if we expect more of offenders and empower them with the necessary tools and resources they need to change, most will choose to change and not repeat offend. We work for better implementation of best practices in ways to treat non-violent offenders and minimize prison violence.
We believe prisoners provided with the musical tools to create songs of their own can achieve a positive change of attitude that can initiate the work necessary to successfully return to life outside prison walls. Creating music, along with other educational and vocational programs, can be a profound force for positive change in a prisoner’s life. Our goal is to aid the ‘correctional’ aspect of corrections that can only come from a regenerated belief in ones future as a positive, contributing member of society