UK prisoners are listening to Pharrell Williams’ songs in class to manage their anger

Stephen Nartey November 13, 2023
Photo via @pharrell on Instagram

A struggling prison is investing nearly £10,000 ($12,000) in a program teaching inmates to manage anger through a “body percussion” course. In this program, prisoners are instructed to use physical movements, such as stamping their feet and clicking their fingers.

The class incorporates popular songs like “Happy Day” by Pharrell Williams and “Can’t Stop the Feeling” by Justin Timberlake as part of the curriculum.

This forms part of a year-long contract HMP Dartmoor in Devon has entered with Wiltshire firm Kaboom for its “cognitive-based therapy workshops” at a cost of £9,600, according to the Ministry of Justice (MoJ). The Prison Service stressed that such programs aid in reducing crime, as reported by the Daily Mail.

Inmates at HMP Dartmoor are instructed in creating music using various body parts, including clapping hands and slapping thighs.

A source from the Labour Party has criticized the initiative, describing it as unbelievable. The source raised concerns about the state of the prison system, suggesting it would be laughable if not for perceived shortcomings in public safety efforts by the Conservative government.

This comes on the heels of HMP Dartmoor coming under scrutiny for substandard living conditions, extended cell confinement, and a lack of educational and work opportunities. The Category C prison was flagged for deficiencies in these areas.

Moreover, the Ministry of Justice also noted a nine percent increase in the assault rate within prisons, reaching 285 assaults per 1,000 prisoners in the 12 months leading up to June 2022.

Last Edited by:Mildred Europa Taylor Updated: November 13, 2023


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