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Ukuleledad
03-23-2012, 09:37 PM
For those of you with access to the BBC iplayer, there was a piece on a prison-based ukulele group last week. It was during a programme called 'Crime & Punishment' broadcasted last Thursday 22nd March at 9.15am. The ukulele group is on about 20 mins into the programme.

SuzukHammer
03-24-2012, 12:23 AM
I'm 70/30 on this topic.

A discussion on this could get heated.

Johnny Cash turned out ok; but, how would you like ex-cons joining your uke group?

SuzukHammer
03-24-2012, 12:25 AM
I'm hoping courts won't mandate 1 hour a week of uke playing as a condition of parole.

Gwynedd
03-24-2012, 12:32 AM
There are prison ministries that offer Bible classes and discussion to prisoners and it's helpful. Learning how to focus on positive things in life when you are surrounded by pure crap, and have perhaps lived a life of crap is a good thing. Prison is an angry place full of angry people.

The uke is a positive ray of light in life--I use mine to get over grief and many of us attest to its joyful power. So if prisoners could develop a positive attitude from uke playing, I'm for it. Someday they will, in many cases, get out of jail, and they've been abused, fearful, angry, hateful, mean and worst of all bored and let to rust in prison so if they have something that can make them stop being angry and want to join society properly, that's a good thing. Music has been thought to be a spiritual and mental healer since ancient times (King Saul, Hippocrates, just to name a few.)

SuzukHammer
03-24-2012, 12:50 AM
That's a good post Gwynedd.

hoosierhiver
03-24-2012, 03:42 AM
My first thought was, "I wonder if they play Folsem prison every week"

Gwynedd
03-24-2012, 03:53 AM
My first thought was, "I wonder if they play Folsom prison every week"

There is probably a sign on the wall "NO Stairway and NO Folsom" Possibly considering a rule about yelling "Freebird!" Two weeks in the hole for that.

raecarter
03-24-2012, 04:18 AM
I am a prison officer in the uk and think it'd a good thing. For myself having happy prisoners is much better than angry ones. I have played at a community engagement day at work and was very pleased with the positivity from the prisoners. I agree it will not rehabilitate at all but it is a release for them and consequently makes my job effectively less hostile.

coolkayaker1
03-24-2012, 04:38 AM
A prison officer's job would be less hostile if they were permitted to shoot the bad prisoners.

Convicted felons (child killers, rapists, drug pushers, etc.) should be given grass-cutting sickles, not ukuleles.

My two--okay, maybe three--cents.

Freeda
03-24-2012, 04:50 AM
I work with developmentally disabled and mentally ill adults. Some are institutionalized as part of sentencing and some are with us as part of an ATO. Many of my residential clients have spent time in jail and prison. I spend every other Friday morning in a lockup with violent offenders and sexual predators. Take downs, restraints, etc.. Not unusual. It is a highly stressful environment for people who are often already sensitive to sensory stimuli.

Any activity that occupies time is important. Any activity that builds a sense of pride or accomplishment is good. Anything that someone can focus on that keeps them out of drama and helps regulate their feelings is important. Anything that helps them build positive relationships with others is important.

coolkayaker1
03-24-2012, 04:53 AM
Any activity that occupies time is important. Any activity that builds a sense of pride or accomplishment is good. Anything that someone can focus on that keeps them out of drama and helps regulate their feelings is important. Anything that helps them build positive relationships with others is important.

Sounds like you support unmowed grass and a sickle.

PhilUSAFRet
03-24-2012, 05:03 AM
I have worked in a youthful offender prison. Trust me, you do not want prisoners being released that have had no positive experiences of any kind while incarcerated. Yeah for the ukers. I'd rather have a parolee join my uke group than rob my house while I'm attending one.

ukuleledaveey
03-24-2012, 05:04 AM
There are prison ministries that offer Bible classes and discussion to prisoners and it's helpful. Learning how to focus on positive things in life when you are surrounded by pure crap, and have perhaps lived a life of crap is a good thing. Prison is an angry place full of angry people.

The uke is a positive ray of light in life--I use mine to get over grief and many of us attest to its joyful power. So if prisoners could develop a positive attitude from uke playing, I'm for it. Someday they will, in many cases, get out of jail, and they've been abused, fearful, angry, hateful, mean and worst of all bored and let to rust in prison so if they have something that can make them stop being angry and want to join society properly, that's a good thing. Music has been thought to be a spiritual and mental healer since ancient times (King Saul, Hippocrates, just to name a few.)
Fantastic post Gwynedd, i couldn't agree more, the uke is such a pure joy to play and i feel all my worries slip away whilst playing, it is definately the best stress relief beats booze and cigs any day, i have found such comfort in the uke since losing my parents.
Think i will check BBC i player out for the programme, thanks for your wonderful post oh i bet they not allowed to play Jail break by thin lizzy either :)

coolkayaker1
03-24-2012, 05:08 AM
Trust me, you do not want prisoners being released that have had no positive experiences of any kind while incarcerated.

Who said anything about releasing them? You did see Cool Hand Luke, right?

Wicked
03-24-2012, 06:43 AM
I work with developmentally disabled and mentally ill adults. Some are institutionalized as part of sentencing and some are with us as part of an ATO. Many of my residential clients have spent time in jail and prison. I spend every other Friday morning in a lockup with violent offenders and sexual predators. Take downs, restraints, etc.. Not unusual. It is a highly stressful environment for people who are often already sensitive to sensory stimuli.

Any activity that occupies time is important. Any activity that builds a sense of pride or accomplishment is good. Anything that someone can focus on that keeps them out of drama and helps regulate their feelings is important. Anything that helps them build positive relationships with others is important.

You, sister, are hard core.! I have friends who work in similar situations... I know it ain't easy, and they have all had physical injuries... often unintentionally inflicted, but that doesn't mean much when you are on the receiving end.

rasputinsghost
03-24-2012, 06:46 AM
A prison officer's job would be less hostile if they were permitted to shoot the bad prisoners.

Convicted felons (child killers, rapists, drug pushers, etc.) should be given grass-cutting sickles, not ukuleles.

My two--okay, maybe three--cents.

Do you seriously believe that prison guards are prevented from using deadly force on inmates?

Maybe you should look up what 'felony' is before prescribing that everyone who is convicted of one should die. You realize that perjury is a felony, too, right? Also, every tobacco and alcohol company in America have definitely killed more people than any teenager selling $10 worth of marijuana, but yeah, you're right! Kill them all! The war on drugs has been such a resounding success*!

America: a country where people don't believe the government can deliver the mail on time but is comfortable with the state executing citizens.

*failure

pootsie
03-24-2012, 07:06 AM
I'm another who has a working connection to prisons (as a law-talking guy), though I only enter one about once a month.

Although I do not represent the prisoners, I am also in favor of a healthy outlet. Most of the time I am involved in cases dealing with prisoner-on-prisoner assaults. If that energy can be placed elsewhere, or if a calming influence can show up, that would be nice.

Of course, knowing what I do about prisons I also know that free access to ukuleles could result in the development of a whole arsenal of weapons. Those guys can be very creative. Garrotes from strings, shivs from the back and face, clubs from the necks. Seriously, they can make a weapon out of anything.

joejeweler
03-24-2012, 07:28 AM
A prison officer's job would be less hostile if they were permitted to shoot the bad prisoners.

Convicted felons (child killers, rapists, drug pushers, etc.) should be given grass-cutting sickles, not ukuleles.

My two--okay, maybe three--cents.

"Killers & Rapists "....should be given grass-cutting sickles". Really??? A sickle is a lethal weapon in the wrong hands.

One swipe and a head comes off! Geeze.....

Here's an example of what you're talking about: http://www.amazon.com/Japanese-Steel-Sickle-Wooden-Handle/dp/B004LLDL28

Rather see a ukulele in hand......

pootsie
03-24-2012, 07:42 AM
"Killers & Rapists" ....should be given grass-cutting sickles". Really??? A sickle is a lethal weapon in the wrong hands!

One swipe and a head comes off! Geeze....

Here's an example of what you're talking about: http://www.amazon.com/Japanese-Steel-Sickle-Wooden-Handle/dp/B004LLDL28

It would be very hard to hide one of those where the guys usually hide things.

chris667
03-24-2012, 08:20 AM
Isn't it interesting how this issue polarises views?

Personally, I am all for it. Locking people up and throwing away the key simply doesn't work, and costs a fortune. Look at what's happening in Texas:

http://www.chron.com/news/houston-texas/article/Treatment-efforts-credited-as-prison-population-1750304.php

DaveVisi
03-24-2012, 08:20 AM
It would be very hard to hide one of those where the guys usually hide things.
It seems he's advocating issuing them to the inmates. Not a good idea. I'd much rather see them with a uke in their hands.

joejeweler
03-24-2012, 08:44 AM
It would be very hard to hide one of those where the guys usually hide things.

Why hide it? You're giving one to each of them with the intention of working the field and trim the tall grass areas. Only takes a split second to swing it at another prisoner or guard you've had a beef with. Some of these guys have nothing to lose,....and revenge of some sort the joy in their day.

Nope,.....rather give them a ukulele to work with. (just keep track of the strings :D)

Gwynedd
03-24-2012, 09:39 AM
35454 Probably not as a condition of parole, but there is another danger facing many....

coolkayaker1
03-24-2012, 01:24 PM
"Killers & Rapists "....should be given grass-cutting sickles". Really??? A sickle is a lethal weapon in the wrong hands.

One swipe and a head comes off! Geeze.....

Here's an example of what you're talking about: http://www.amazon.com/Japanese-Steel-Sickle-Wooden-Handle/dp/B004LLDL28

Rather see a ukulele in hand......

You, my friend, clearly need to watch Academy award winning movie, Paul Newman in Cool Hand Luke. Sincerely, watch it. You won't have on single qualm about sickles.

A preview (and p.s. they give them longer ankle chains when they use the sickles): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sjb3nh9BxOE

A well-run prison. And not a ukulele in the movie. lol

itsme
03-24-2012, 02:59 PM
Of course, knowing what I do about prisons I also know that free access to ukuleles could result in the development of a whole arsenal of weapons. Those guys can be very creative. Garrotes from strings, shivs from the back and face, clubs from the necks. Seriously, they can make a weapon out of anything.
Well, I'd see it more as a tool you'd use in a class or available only during your recreation time and not as something you're allowed to have in your cell.

Unless it were something based on privilege. I recall an article a few years ago about a prison that had a program that allowed inmates to purchase (with their own money) a small tv or handheld video game system to keep in their cells. The catch was you had to have a clean record for a specified time in order to buy one and if you messed up, it got taken away. This was apparently enough of an incentive to put some former troublemakers on their best behavior.

Nickie
03-24-2012, 04:40 PM
I would be way too intimidated to go that close to a criminal, but I play for residents in nursing homes and ALFs. They're an appreciative crowd, and much less dangerous.

rook
03-24-2012, 05:13 PM
It bears asking...which Uke would make the best prison shank...I think it would be the fluke, that neck could turn a riot upside down although I'm thinkin the Howdy Doody plastic could score a few packs of cigarettes just with the threatening shaking of it in your face.

Thoughts?

itsme
03-24-2012, 05:20 PM
I would be way too intimidated to go that close to a criminal, but I play for residents in nursing homes and ALFs. They're an appreciative crowd, and much less dangerous.
Yes, they're a great audience and very appreciative of live entertainment. Even if you think your playing skills are modest at best, the residents will love you anyway. :)

1931jim
03-25-2012, 06:09 AM
Originally Posted by Nickie
I would be way too intimidated to go that close to a criminal, but I play for residents in nursing homes and ALFs. They're an appreciative crowd, and much less dangerous.

Yes, they're a great audience and very appreciative of live entertainment. Even if you think your playing skills are modest at best, the residents will love you anyway. :)
I can identify with you both. The folks like the entertainment. Sometimes they even wake up whenever I play a familiar melody. HaHa!! I like to stimulate their minds, I play a few notes of different songs and then I say " What is that called "? and the folks really like to try to be first with the answers.

Shakespeare
03-26-2012, 01:30 PM
I would like to clear one thing up: Johnny Cash was never a prisoner.

Plainsong
03-27-2012, 01:47 PM
"I would like to clear one thing up: Johnny Cash was never a prisoner."

Thanks for posting. I kept thinking I needed to post to clear that up but didn't have the nerve to do it.

Here he is, not being in prison at all in 1965 for a drug bust.

http://farm3.staticflickr.com/2014/1515866515_8f51fe1c70_n.jpg

*May be more accurate to say, never for long and never for a felony. He was arrested like 7 times though.

itsme
03-27-2012, 01:58 PM
Here he is, not being in prison at all in 1965 for a drug bust.

*May be more accurate to say, never for long and never for a felony. He was arrested like 7 times though.
Being arrested/going to jail is not the same as doing hard time in the big house, AKA prison.

Plainsong
03-27-2012, 02:39 PM
Nor is it accurate to imply he never set foot in a jail. You don't generally get a mugshots for no particular reason, at least not in the 60s.

Shakespeare
03-29-2012, 01:43 PM
What the guy before you said x2.

grandpoobah
03-29-2012, 04:42 PM
Jail = Short term / temporary. This is where you go if you get arrested, but before your stand trial. This is also where you go if you are sentenced, but it's for a short term. Typically less than 90 days. No perks here, definately no ukes

Prison = Long Term. This is where you do time. They have perks for good behavior. Plenty of prisoners with good behavior have guitars and there are even prison bands. Ukuleles can already be found in prison.

I'm all for Ukulele groups in prison. We often forget that prison should be rehabiliting people not hardening them. Ukes are such naturally happy instruments and they put off positive vibes. I'm all for it.

raecarter
03-29-2012, 10:49 PM
At the risk of prolonging debate I removed this.

buddhuu
03-30-2012, 01:11 AM
Interesting thread despite a few stupid noises.

Respect to those of you who work with prisoners and other people in difficult environments. Glad to see your informed, positive and sensible opinions here.

Contrasting opinions may also be worthy of discussion, obviously, but please present them thoughtfully and rationally. The next poster I see advocating shooting/killing/harming anyone will get a suspension. That's not what UU is about.

Also, maybe best to focus on the ukes in prison angle. Uke Talk isn't the best place for a discussion of capital punishment. I've seen that topic go south quickly on many a forum.

Thanks and have a nice day.

frankiefirefox
03-30-2012, 02:44 AM
Aloha ya'll!!!

I love this post thread! I am a criminal defense attorney and I spend a significant amount of time with criminals and/or inmates. I certainly agree with many of you that there are major untreated mental health issues that create some very angry people. The uke is the only think in my life that relieves stress. Not working out, not drinking wine, not fly fishing. I really believe that for some, this amazing instrument has tremendous theraputic value. I would completely support the addition of instruments as therapy in the prison system. It has to work better than tvs and playstations!

Cheers!

raecarter
03-30-2012, 09:50 AM
Aloha ya'll!!!

I love this post thread! I am a criminal defense attorney and I spend a significant amount of time with criminals and/or inmates. I certainly agree with many of you that there are major untreated mental health issues that create some very angry people. The uke is the only think in my life that relieves stress. Not working out, not drinking wine, not fly fishing. I really believe that for some, this amazing instrument has tremendous theraputic value. I would completely support the addition of instruments as therapy in the prison system. It has to work better than tvs and playstations!

Cheers!

Beautifully put

raecarter
03-30-2012, 09:52 AM
Interesting thread despite a few stupid noises.

Respect to those of you who work with prisoners and other people in difficult environments. Glad to see your informed, positive and sensible opinions here.

Contrasting opinions may also be worthy of discussion, obviously, but please present them thoughtfully and rationally. The next poster I see advocating shooting/killing/harming anyone will get a suspension. That's not what UU is about.

Also, maybe best to focus on the ukes in prison angle. Uke Talk isn't the best place for a discussion of capital punishment. I've seen that topic go south quickly on many a forum.

Thanks and have a nice day.

Sorry buddhuu.

rasputinsghost
03-30-2012, 11:37 AM
I'm all for Ukulele groups in prison. We often forget that prison should be rehabiliting people not hardening them. Ukes are such naturally happy instruments and they put off positive vibes. I'm all for it.

Sure. Anything that makes prisons less of a rape/murder factory that they are in this country is a positive thing, for both inmates and CO's.

buddhuu
03-30-2012, 02:09 PM
Sorry buddhuu.

Absolutely no apology necessary. All's cool. :)

Gwynedd
03-30-2012, 10:52 PM
Hey Frankie--what a great post.

webby
04-01-2012, 03:26 PM
A prison officer's job would be less hostile if they were permitted to shoot the bad prisoners.

Convicted felons (child killers, rapists, drug pushers, etc.) should be given grass-cutting sickles, not ukuleles.


can't wait to see all those glaxo smith kline executive drug pushers murdered by your logic.

Tell me you are not serious please.

If you are then I suggest you need 30 years of life to broaden your opinions and to grow up a bit.

That has to be one of the most insensitive and ignorant posts I have ever read, I can't believe the moderators let it go.