Lags offered X-Factor style singing lessons with ‘vocal coaches’ in Brit prisons

Prisoners are signing up for X Factor-style singing lessons – with ‘vocal coaches’ even mentoring lags.

Inmates at HMP Wealstun, an 810-capacity category C jail in West Yorks, have already taken advantage of music lessons at the prison over the past year.

A total of 21 musical instruments were handed out to inmates as part of a music project to get lags jamming.

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Guitars, flutes, harmonicas, recorders and keyboards were among some of the instruments doled out, with many inmates practicing in their cells.

Such was the success of the music project, in which a ‘musician in residence’ was tasked with teaching inmates to play, plans are now afoot for voice coaches to teach lags how to sing.

Funding has been secured to continue the music course as well as extend its scope to ‘vocal classes’.

A report into the jail by inspectors from the Independent Monitoring Board (IMB) last week revealed the new plans.

It stated: “A music project was so popular that funding has been found for next year.

“The musician in residence was appreciated (and) 21 instruments were distributed.

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“It proved very popular and there was a waiting list to join.”

The report added: “Music was used to help other areas in cross-curricular work, with pages of creative writing being produced.

“Prisoners are eagerly awaiting vocal classes.”

A prison source said: “It sounds like the X Factor has made it into prisons – let’s just hope Simon Cowell doesn’t turn up.”

A Prison Service spokesperson said: “Schemes like this support rehabilitation and help cut reoffending, which protects the public and saves taxpayer money.”


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