ICYMI: Now Recording At Juvenile Hall: Incentive-Based Music Studio


From Patch. By Maggie Fusek. 

SONOMA COUNTY, CA | March 05, 2024 – A new music recording studio that recently opened in Sonoma County’s Juvenile Hall in Santa Rosa has proven to be a motivation for youth incarcerated at the facility.

The studio — called Free Voices after a naming contest — is equipped with industry-standard microphones and recording software as well as three acoustic/electric guitars, one electric guitar, several keyboards, one electric bass and an electronic drum set.

The Probation Department opened the studio in January with an initial equipment budget of $25,000. The department has an ongoing budget of $150,000 a year for a consultant/producer, equipment and additional hardware and software.

The studio promotes self-expression, positivity and wellness among the youth.

“Music is an outlet for expression and emotions,” said Daniel Flamson, a division director with the Sonoma County Probation Department. “It provides an educational opportunity and introduction into the world of music, and it helps push the creative boundaries that our residents occasionally impose on themselves when they are housed in a detention facility and somewhat afraid to come out of their shells or show vulnerability. More importantly, it’s something they want to do.”

Juvenile Hall residents who express interest in the program are put on an incentive-based roster and are assigned studio time.

The Probation Department is working with a local music professional as a consultant, who is making connections with the residents and assisting in the creation of unique music. Several youth have already used the studio, and two have recorded songs since the studio opened.

The department is also seeking other industry professionals or community members who would like to volunteer and work with the program and the juvenile population.

Read the full article here.