Baker, S. and Homan, S. (2007). “Rap, Recidivism and the Creative Self: A Popular Music Programme for Young Offenders in Detention“. Journal of Youth Studies, 10, (4), 459-476.
Author Affiliations: University of Leeds, UK (Baker); Cultural Industries & Practices Research Centre, University of Newcastle, Australia (Homan)
Artforms: Guitar, hip-hop, keyboard, music, rap, song-writing
Program: Genuine Voices
Program (Study) Location: Short-term (90-day) secure treatment center in Massachusetts
Program Description: Genuine Voices conducts music programs for youth in juvenile detention centers and other educational and institutional settings in the U.S. and worldwide. Its mission is to prevent youth violence and crime and foster youths’ ability to plan and make “positive life decisions.” The juvenile offender program consists of piano, guitar, rap and sequencing lessons, both group and individual, twice weekly. Youths who have earned good-behavior privileges may volunteer to participate in the program (p. 464).
Study Published: September 2007
Participant Type: Juvenile male offenders
Data Type: Qualitative: Ethnographic methodology including observation, interviews and program evaluation.
Evaluation Focus: Benefits of popular music programs in fostering individual creativity, self-esteem, identity and social communication
Summary of Impact: Researchers concluded that the program aided individual and collective communication and community-building and improved participants’ organizational skills, self-esteem, self-control, focus and sense of achievement. Participants produced a CD recording at the end of the program.
KEYWORDS: communication, community, focus, hip-hop, identity, juvenile, music, rap, self-control, self-esteem, sense of achievement, youth