Allow Pennsylvania death row inmates to be included in the “In Cell Music Program”
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Our goal is to have the prisoners on Pennsylvania's death row be included in the "In Cell Music Program" that the Pennsylvania Department Of Corrections currently only provides for general population inmates, not death row inmates. The "In Cell Music Program” was implemented to help prisoners deal with being locked in a cell for so much of their prison time, to help deal with the loneliness, boredom and depression that such isolation causes. And yet the prisoners who are the most isolated and could most use and benefit from the music program, death row prisoners, are completely denied access to the program. A death row prisoner is locked in his/her cell for 22 to 24 hours a day. The only break from that isolation is 2 hours a day, Monday-Friday, for yard which consists of being locked in a 10'x15' cage outside on a concrete pad. So of the 168 hours in a week, a death row prisoner spends at least 158 of those hours locked away in a cell by himself/herself. Long term solitary confinement studies have clearly shown the serious and lasting effects such isolation cause to prisoner's mental and physical health. There are NO legitimate reasons why death row inmates aren't allowed the same access to the “In Cell Music Program” that general population inmates have. There are currently 3 models of keyboard accessible to general population inmates that would cause NO security concerns for death row inmates. Denying death row inmates access to specific instruments, such as string instruments, because of legitimate security concerns is understandable. But complete denial of ALL instruments for no legitimate reason is unacceptable and prejudicial in the extreme. So please join us in asking that Pennsylvania's death row inmates be included in the “In Cell Music Program”. Also please pass this information on to others you know who would support our cause. An individual letter writing campaign is also underway to show the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections that there is public support for death row inmates being included in the “In Cell Music Program”. Please write to express your support for this issue to the following address: John E. Wetzel, Secretary Pennsylvania D.O.C., Secretary's Office, 1920 Technology Parkway, Mechanicsburg, PA 17050. Thank you for your support and assistance on this issue.
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