Home Politics Opinion | Why a visit to Lee Correctional Institution gave me hope

Opinion | Why a visit to Lee Correctional Institution gave me hope

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BISHOPVILLE, S.C. — Cellist Claire Bryant is what we lesser mortals would call a prodigy. In recent years, she has also become a miracle worker, taking her musical talents to some of the least served people in America — incarcerated men at the Lee Correctional Institution, South Carolina’s largest maximum-security prison — and transforming them into polished musicians and performers.

As a member of a Carnegie Hall-spawned musical ensemble called Decoda, she and her colleagues work with inmates here to compose and perform their own music. As a witness to the program, about which I’ve written before, I can attest to the transformative power of music — for inmates, audiences and the professional musicians themselves.

Until last Friday, Bryant had not been able to visit Lee since the arrival of the coronavirus in early 2020. The site of a mass riot in 2018 that left seven dead…

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