I continue to be lucky enough to continue working as a music therapist with female offenders in a category A prison. Their stories deserve to be told. Women in prison are 4 times likely to self harm than male prisoners, (despite women making up only 5% of the prison population in this country) . Their mental health is compromised and over half have suffered domestic, physical, emotional or sexual abuse.
The ability to meet each other and themselves through music making is a testament to their courage. We work with creative writing, drawing, songwriting, pre-composed songs, instrumental improvisation and yoga based body and breath work.
Although music therapy is about process & not necessarily product, I have entered a number of entries into the Koestler Trust arts for offenders awards this year and wait with bated breath to see how they got on. Music therapy really could be used with equally positive outcomes in other similar establishments.