In 1978, The Clash released the song, "Jail Guitar Doors." The song tells the story of the imprisonment of their fellow musician Wayne Kramer. In 2007, to honor the life of Clash founder, Joe Strummer, Billy Bragg launches an initiative in England to provide musical equipment used to rehabilitate inmates serving time in Her Majesty’s Prisons in the United Kingdom. His initiative is named for that very same song, “Jail Guitar Doors.” In 2009, Wayne Kramer partners with Billy Bragg to found Jail Guitar Doors USA. Together, their combined effort continues the mission for prisoners in America. The circle is unbroken. Read More...
Jail Guitar Doors USA believes our country’s human and financial resources should be dedicated to education and ending poverty, the primary source of crime. We support public safety. We believe in accountability in a civilized society. We believe the punishment should fit the crime and that one is sentenced to prison as punishment, not for punishment. We believe in reform and that if we expect more of offenders and empower them with the necessary tools and resources they need to change, most will choose to change and not repeat offend. We work for better implementation of best practices in ways to treat non-violent offenders and minimize prison violence. We believe prisoners provided with the musical tools to create songs of their own can achieve a positive change of attitude that can initiate the work necessary to successfully return to life outside prison walls. Creating music, along with other educational and vocational programs, can be a profound force for positive change in a prisoner’s life. Our goal is to aid the ‘correctional’ aspect of corrections that can only come from a regenerated belief in ones future as a positive, contributing member of society.
RED MONKEY's Involvement
We got involved with Wayne Kramer and Jail Guitar Doors in 2010 after Wayne approached me to help design a collection around Jail Guitar Doors, I loved the concept and I felt the DNA of this project was simply too cool to pass up. Working with an icon such as Wayne Kramer was and honor and then having artwork from the World Renowned Shepard Fairey, I absolutely felt that artistically this would be a great fit for Red Monkey, then add the fact that this is such a great cause. It would be the best way to give back It just made the most sense for Red Monkey and what we're all about.
My inspiration for the project is to take on a very CBGB vibe.
A Message from Wayne Kramer: "I know prison reform isn't exactly at the top of the list of favorite topics of conversation during the holidays. We all have busy lives and there's plenty in the world to be concerned about, but I also know that there are a lot of people who are interested in seeing our country live up to its precious principles of justice and equality. So, Jail Guitar Doors is making this conversation one about positive change, and you can help us by joining in to carry the message. If you'd like to support the JGD-USA mission, consider this fine gift for your justice loving friends and family who also happen to rock."
Visit Jail Guitar Doors Website