Choral Singing and Prison Inmates: Influences of Performing in a Prison Choir by ProQuest

VIEWS: 21 PAGES: 15

The purpose of these two experiments was to compare well-being measurements between a group of prison inmates singing in a choir and prison inmates not singing in a choir. Using the Friedman Well-Being Scale (FWBS) as the dependent measure, measurements were taken before and after performances of two prison-based choirs: (a) an inmate only choir (n=10) that performed in the correctional facility (experiment one) and (b) an inmate-volunteer choir (n=48) that performed outside the correctional facility (experiment two). Results indicated no significant differences between experimental and control groups (n=10) in composite well-being scores in both experiments. In experiment two, there were significant differences between experimental and control groups on four subscales: emotional stability, sociability, happiness, and joviality. A content analysis of weekly written responses of participants in the inmate-only choir suggested a tendency toward: (a) negative responses during containment, (b) positive choir-related responses at the final two rehearsals, and (c) overall choral experience reflections related to a sense of well-being. Implications for choral music education and suggestions for further research were examined. [PUBLICATION ABSTRACT]

More Info
									              The Journal of Correctional Education 60(1) • March 2009




       Choral Singing and Prison Inmates:
           Influences of Performing
                in a Prison Choir

                               Mary L. Cohen



The purpose of these two experiments was to compare well-being
measurements between a group of prison inmates singing in a choir and prison
inmates not singing in a choir. Using the Friedman Well-Being Scale (FWBS) as
the dependent measure, measurements were taken before and after
performances of two prison-based choirs: (a) an inmate only choir (n=10) that
performed in the correctional facility (experiment one) and (b) an inmate-
volunteer choir (n=48) that performed outside the correctional facility
(experiment two). Results indicated no significant differences between
experimental and control groups (n=10) in composite well-being scores in both
experiments. In experiment two, there were significant differences between
experimental and control groups on four subscales: emotional stability,
sociability, happiness, and joviality. A content analysis of weekly written
responses of participants in the inmate-only choir suggested a tendency toward:
(a) negative responses during containment, (b) positive choir-related responses
at the final two rehearsals, and (c) overall choral experience reflections related
to a sense of well-being. Implications for choral music education and
suggestions for further research were examined.


     Over the course of a year, 13.5 million people are incarcerated in U.S.
prisons and jails (Gibbons & Katzenbach, 2006). On the last day of 2004, almost
7 million people were either on parole, on probation, or in jail or prison. That
figure represents 3.2% of all U.S. residents, or 1 in every 31 adults (Bureau of
Justice Statistics, 2005).
     Inmates in U.S. correctional facilities generally have few opportunities for
self-expression and are not being prepared to live outside the prison setting
(Kupers, 1996). According to Sykes (1958), the pains of incarceration are
broader than the loss of physical freedoms. In addition to the immediate


52
             The Journal of Correctional Education 60(1) • March 2009
Cohen                                                Participation in Prison Choirs


stresses of loneliness, boredom, thwarted goals, and discomfort, Sykes reports
that inmates tend to see t
								
To top