Common reportedly gifted the inmates at Statesville Correctional Center a studio that is complete with mixing boards, musical instruments, microphones and sound panels. The stated goal is to create an environment of productivity for incarcerated individuals as they serve their respective sentences.
“The gentlemen who are incarcerated deserve access to better things in life so that’s why I fight for my city,” Common said. “And that’s why my heart is always with Chicago. Being from Chicago is one of the greatest gifts and assets to me in my career and my life.”
The donation was reportedly sparked by a conversation between Common and Ari Williams, a young attorney with a vision for inmates who reached out.
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The studio is only the beginning. Common’s Imagine Justice nonprofit will host a 12-week program for inmates at Statesville Correctional that will spark music production, creation and recording.
Alyssa Williams of the Illinois Department of Corrections believes participation will become a catalyst for reduced sentences.
“Everyday they’re in this program [inmates] earn a day credit off of their sentence, as long as the statute allows for that,” she explained, adding that the course ultimately gives those who are incarcerated optimistic thoughts about their lives and their future.
“This brings so much hope for them and inspiration for them,” she said. “Them to know people actually care about them, that can change them as well.”