That Impenetrable Door

That Impenetrable Door


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While SXSW began in Texas this month, activist/columnist Sally Kohn visited Travis County Correctional Complex. Kohn describes the door leading into the complex and how misleading the color comes off. “a thick steel door painted the color of the ocean on a cold day automatically slides open for visitors authorized to enter the jail…” She proceeds to give detail on the beige hallways after hallway. And finally, we come to the room where eight women were receiving lessons on song writing and playing guitar. Instructed by Jean Synodinos, an Austin-based singer-songwriter, who teaches the weekly music class at the county jail in Texas. “Jail Guitar Doors” is spray painted on the wood of each of the guitars being used. Jail Guitar Doors is an organization, started by Billy Bragg in the UK. Bragg’s mission was to bring music education into prisons to help the rehabilitation process.

I believe that it is important for these women to have something to look forward to while they do their time. Going to sleep and waking up to the same routine can drive a person mad. Music, in my opinion, is probably the best way to pass time. Even though they are restricted, they can still learn and love music. Music education should be allowed at every prison/correctional facility. It’s up to the wardens to decide who gets these privileges.

Do you think music should be used to help rehabilitate citizens in the criminal justice system?