Common Opens Recording Studio In Chicago Prison

By Kiani Belgrave

Common has always been outspoken on many social topics on and off the mic. Passionate about criminal justice and prison reform, Common’s most recent project allows inmates to follow their dreams. 

On Tuesday (October 5), CBS Chicago reported that Common opened a full recording studio inside Statesville Correctional Center in Cresthill, Illinois. Attorney Ari Williams initially came up with the idea to give the inmates an opportunity to express themselves creatively while learning the ins and outs of the studio. 

“The gentlemen who are incarcerated deserve access to better things in life, so that’s why I fight for my city,” Common said. “And that’s why my heart is always with Chicago.”

Williams added, “I know music brings us all together. I want them to be OK. I want them to do something they’ve love to do. And I know many of them are rappers. They love to rap, and they love to sing.”

The inmates will have the opportunity to take a 12-week course curated by Common’s non-profit organization, Imagine Justice. The program will also give inmates an opportunity to shorten their sentences. 

According to Alyssa Williams of the Department of Corrections, “Everyday they’re in this program [inmates] earn a day credit off of their sentence, as long as the statute allows for that.”

Big shout out to Common and Imagine Justice for their efforts, giving inmates the opportunity to tap into their creative side and take time off their sentences.