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Ban on steel-strung guitars in UK prisons overturned Print E-mail
Written by Matt   
Thursday, 31 July 2014

Back in April we told you about a group of twelve prominent musicians - Billy Bragg, Johnny Marr, Speech Debelle, David Gilmour, Richard Hawley, Scroobius Pip, Guy Garvey, Ed O'Brien, Philip Selway, Seasick Steve, The Farm, and Sam Duckworth - who were protesting a decision by UK Justice Minister Chris Grayling.

Grayling had shortly before come under fire for banning prisoners from receiving books in jail, and turned his attention to the use of steel-strung guitars. An open letter from the musicians noted how this would have a real impact on the rehabilitation process of prisoners - and noted that it could be at the root of a worrying rise in self-inflicted deaths inside prisons.

This week the campaign had some great news - the ban on steel-string guitars in prison cells in England and Wales has been reversed. Prisoners had been unable to play the instruments outside supervised sessions since rules were changed last November, but now the rules have been relaxed after feedback from governors. The inmates will still be subject to assessment and would still need to earn the right to have the guitars through demonstrating good behaviour. The rules preventing prisoners from receiving books would, however, remain in place.

 
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