The purely punitive approach that has predominated the American criminal justice system for the last 30 years has been a dismal failure, and our country is finally waking up to this sad fact. Organizations interested in safer and more just communities have had to step into the breach of this disaster to heal the wounds.
Jail Guitar Doors USA has accepted this challenge.
Currently, in the United States of America, we have:
• the equivalent to 5% of the world's population behind bars
• 25% of all people experiencing incarceration in the world
• 80,000+ human beings in solitary confinement
• 50,000+ serving life without the possibility of parole
• Widespread rehabilitation failure with more than 70% of those paroled re-entering the system
• The world’s largest mental health facilities are actually the jails and prisons in this country.
• People of color are grossly and disproportionately incarcerated.
• The litany of wrongs and horrors is too long and too depressing to write out...
According to prisonpolicy.org
"I have seen and experienced the healing powers of music many times throughout my life, but nothing has compared to the profundity of the transformation I have witnessed working behind bars with JGD.”
Astra Kelly – Teaching Artist, Richard J Donovan Correctional Facility (RJD)
WHAT WE DO
Jail Guitar Doors USA works toward a more fair and just America.
We are a 501(c)3 non-profit organization providing musical instruments and mentorship to help rehabilitate individuals experiencing incarceration through the transformative power of music.
Using the medium of collaborative music and songwriting for everyone, we strive to achieve measurable rehabilitative outcomes. We seek to advance new solutions to diminish prison violence and recidivism. We support organizations that engage in policy reform efforts and partner with social service groups to help people in prison successfully rejoin the outside world. And we actively work to educate leaders and decision-makers on how to bring real reform to the criminal justice system.
Brother Wayne is a successful musician, entrepreneur, and family man. We are proud of our founders’ continuing commitment to the ongoing process of personal rehabilitation and reform that he exemplifies.
Margaret Saadi Kramer
CO-FOUNDER / CFO
...leads a highly successful music publishing business and loves the challenges of translating her business acumen into the nonprofit world.
...is a songwriter that has dedicated his life to the process of music in all its forms, both as an artist and as the leader of our teaching artists. He is responsible for developing the songwriting workshops for both adult and youth programming and is a creator of the C.A.P.O. Center.
He strives for an equitable future where resources and opportunities are more readily available to all.
Donna Jo Thorndale
...is an actress and writer who taught for over a decade in CA State Prisons. She is dedicated to bringing the joy and transformative healing power of the Arts to incarcerated people and marginalized youth.
...is an established hip-hop writer, producer, and performer that's been instrumental in creating and running the C.A.P.O. Center L.A.
...worked as an industry studio engineer before working in operations and sales management. Francis ties that all together for our C.A.P.O. Center.
...a single mother of 5 and grandmother of 5 more, she is a rabid music fan who manages all things accounting.
...has worked as an image creator for 25+ years in addition to being a grateful musician.
NOTE: The JGD logo was created by Shepard Fairey
In addition to being dedicated member of our cause, he is an aspiring and talented musician.
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
MARGARET SAADI KRAMER
STANLEY D. SAVAGE, JR.
CARY CARUSO, Esq.
LUIS J. RODRIGUEZ
JUDGE LUCY ARMENDARIZ
Honorary Board Members
In 1978, The Clash released the song, "Jail Guitar Doors,” telling the story of the imprisonment of their fellow musician Wayne Kramer. In 2007, to honor the life of Clash founder, Joe Strummer, Billy Bragg launched an initiative to provide musical equipment used to rehabilitate inmates serving time in Her Majesty’s Prisons in the UK. His initiative is named for that very same song, “Jail Guitar Doors.” In 2009, Wayne Kramer partnered with Billy Bragg to found Jail Guitar Doors USA. Together, their combined effort continues the mission for prisoners in America. The circle is unbroken.