Advertisement

Billy Bragg helps overturn ban on guitars in prisons

Protest singer Billy Bragg has helped reverse a government ban on steel-strung guitars in prison.

The activist joined politicians and fellow musicians, including former Smiths guitarist Johnny Marr, calling for inmates to be granted use of guitars with steel strings as well as nylon.

Billy Bragg says guitars can aid the rehabilitation of prisoners. Credit: Empics

Bragg, who started the Jail Guitar Doors initiative in 2007 as means of helping prisoner rehabilitation through sourcing guitars for prisons, said: "As an incentive to engage in rehabilitation, individual access to steel-strung guitars can really help the atmosphere on a prison wing."

Labour MP Kevin Brennan (Cardiff West), who also supported the campaign, said: "This is a victory for common sense and I'm pleased after months of campaigning the UK Government has listened.

"If we want to reduce reoffending we need to support purposeful activities like learning to play an instrument."