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'Arts in Corrections' expands at Pelican Bay State Prison

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CRESCENT CITY, Calif. - Inmates at Pelican Bay State Prison in Crescent City have been given the chance to learn guitar as part of the Arts in Corrections initiative. The initiative is aimed at reducing recidivism and improving the environment at prisons in California.

Dale Morgan, the program's guitar instructor, said he enjoys the time he gets teaching inmates at the prison as he enjoys spreading his love of music in simple doses.

"We'll we have fun. We would just play songs and then play bits of scales and patterns," he said.

Morgan has been teaching at the prison for over 13 years and helps inmates get a handle on basic chords and scales. He said he has never had a bad time during his guitar classes.

"I think it works," he said. "I've never out of all these years, I've never really had a bad experience maybe I'm lucky, but no, it's a great thing."

It's during these classes, that Morgan said he has seen the commitment that inmates put into the classes. He said, they don't get a lot of time outside of class to play guitar so they take every opportunity learn. He adds, that it's led him to see the inmates in a positive light.

"I just notice that the men I work with, they're just dudes," he said. "They're just guys and I wouldn't know that they've been in trouble."

Prison staff said other classes offered to inmates include painting, acting, and creative writing.

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