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(Image courtesy: The Independent)

Prisons Involve Music and Arts Program for Inmate Rehabilitation


Prison officials at Pakistan’s Quetta Central Jail announced the arts initiative in 2020 during their training workshops with the Quetta Chamber of Commerce and Industries and UNICEF. Since then, the prison has used classical music to help rehabilitate inmates and encourage them to not repeat the offenses for which they are serving sentences.

According to Balochistan Express, the jail’s Inspector General, Malik Muhammad Yousaf, emphasized the need for reforming prisoners with skills that teach self-discipline.

“The prisoners completing their sentences should be treated with love and respect because they have the right of improvement,” Yousaf expressed. 

Prior to this announcement, there were no establishments for teaching music or any other skill in Quetta Jail. Now, music lessons are given daily, and often the teacher is another prisoner.

As reported by the Independent, Azizullah, a young man who was jailed on a burglary charge, said that upon entering jail he was very anxious and worried, but improved after taking the music classes the prison’s arts program offered. 

“Coming here, I learn something and get to do something new every day,” he told the Independent Urdu. “Now I have to become a [better] man through this art so that people can recognize me through it.” He explained that after his release, he will study music further and try to teach others. 

Similar programs have also been incorporated at Pakistan’s Karachi Central Jail, which houses their own Central Jail School of Fine Arts and Music – formed in 2008. 

Wardens and jail management have praised the program for calming inmates as well as preparing them for life after release. Several instructors of the fine arts program are also inmates who attended classes at the school since its establishment. 

“Almost 6,200 inmates have attended classes [there] and have prospered in ways unimaginable,” according to Mashable. “Through this school, they are now working and [are] motivated to learn and do more.”

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