The last 30 years saw an experiment in using a purely punitive approach to crime. It’s 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.
We’ve all read the statistics, and we’ve all seen the shocking charts and graphs.
• 5% of the world’s population.
• 25% of the world's prisoners are in the U.S.
• 80,000+ human beings in solitary confinement.
• 50,000+ serving life without even the possibility of parole.
• More than 70% of those paroled failing to stay out.
• The world’s largest mental health facilities are actually the jails and prisons in this country..
• People of color 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 with inmates."
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 incarcerated individuals 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.
CO-FOUNDER / CFO
...leads a highly successful music publishing business and loves the challenges of translating her business acumen into the nonprofit world.
...has dedicated his life to the process of music in all its forms, both as an artist himself and as the leader of our teaching artists working inside.
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.
...a single mother of 5 and grandmother of 5 more, she is a rabid music fan who manages all things accounting.
...is an LA native who has played drums professionally for over 20 years and is a brand ambassador for Croaker Percussion. He is also passionate about justice reform.
SOCIAL MEDIA MANAGER
...is a poet and blogger, dedicated to spreading awareness and affecting change through Social Media. She contributed content for tech giants Google and Fitbit before focusing on activism and justice reform. Silvana is currently pursuing her Masters in Clinical Psychology.
In addition to being dedicated member of our cause, he is an aspiring and talented musician.
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.