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Jamaica - Inmate Rehabilitation Through Music

black_inmates.jpgBehind the walls of the General Penitentiary Prison in Spanish Town Jamaica, lies a budding rehabilitation program. Designed by the Jamaica Constabulary Force community outreach Division, in collaboration with the Department of Correctional services, the project named “Rehabilitation Through Music” is catching the attention of Justice and inmate correctional facilities worldwide.

Implemented in 2003, the unique project serves to enhance and expose the musical talents hidden behind the looming walls of the facility commonly known as “GP” in Jamaica.

Conceptualized and initiated by JCF member Gladstone Wright, the program was catalyzed in 2005 with the involvement of then incarcerated Reggae star Jah Cure.

Hesitant at first, Jah Cure eventually joined the program as its main test subject given his reputation in the general population. From this association came the hit single “True Reflection” that has since become an international sensation.

Written by Glastone Wright, Duane Stephenson, and “Sheldon”, another member of the police force associated with the program, the single was to reflect the experience of a convicted criminal, but Jah Cure refused insisting on his innocence. After a few modifications, Jah Cure agreed to record the single and DownSound Records was contracted to host the Studio session on a Portable Digital Studio behind "GP" walls.

With the single finally recorded and making waves on the street, the program was ready to expand its helping hands.

In 2005 with the confidence of the Correctional department and the JCF, Gladstone Wright and other members of the local police force organized a benefit concert in aid of three inner city schools in need of help.

With the blessing of Major Resse, Head of Correctional Services, Jah Cure appeared at the concert. It was a success and indicated that the project was a positive impact, not only on the prison community, but the general population at large.

Jah Cure’s release in 2007 is only the “second phase” of the project. His conduct in the general population will not only be a guideline for other members of the program to follow on release, but it will also be a verify the impact the inmate rehab project has made.

I hope he recognizes this sense of responsibility and appreciates the fact that his career, his life, and his fate, were all rehabilitated through music.

Live & Love Strong Jah Cure.

Gibbi Geraz
Senior Correspondent