Stateville Correctional Center in Illinois is launching a new music production program for inmates with the help of Grammy Award winning rapper Common.

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Chicago native Common’s non-profit organization Imagine Justice, helped to fund the initiative. On Tuesday, a special ceremony was held at the Stateville Correctional Center to unveil the program.

Common shared his excitement of the launch in a statement to Chicago news outlets.


“Coming back home to be a part of this opportunity for the people of Stateville is my honor. I know personally how music can heal and allow the human spirit to be free regardless of your environment. I wanted to offer a world class studio experience to support these residents as they are committed to changing their lives. And this is just the beginning.”

The new state-of-the-art studio that was built at the facility features musical instruments, mixing boards, sound panels and other equipment. The non profit organization is also providing funds for a professional musician to teach the class. According to reports, this program is the first of its kind at IDOC.

There are nine students in the initial class that will last 12 weeks. They will learn about music production, song writing and audio engineering. The individuals who wanted to be considered for the music program had to apply and take part in an interview. Each participant who completes the course will earn time off their sentence at Stateville Correctional Center.

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