Masters Thesis

Music in prison: humanism and state security the opposing convergence

Music programs in correctional institutions illuminate the paradoxical volley between inmate humanism and security apparatus ideology. This study examines the rehabilitative benefits of the arts and the security apparatus’s rationale for disallowing musical activities within correctional facilities. The author argues that the negative justification utilized to devalue the arts requires dehumanization of those individuals with creative artistic identity. In doing so, the author argues that humanism is imperative to criminal rehabilitation, from which the arts and, specifically, music is the empathic neurological conduit administered through a peer–mentored curriculum. In contrast, the author maintains that arbitrary safety rationalism is a means for authoritarian security apparatus to disrupt and detract from positive rehabilitation options and that this false rationalism created through safety and security rhetoric is sociologically counter– intuitive.