Sac Cash Concert 2

From left are William Zufelt, Thomas Gabriel, Derek Toa, Shawn Bryne, Angela Brown, Chris Oxley , Gabe Becker (CSP-SAC Arts in Corrections), and CRM Therese Giannelli.

By Therese Giannelli, CRM
California State Prison, Sacramento

Sac Cash Concert 1

Thomas Gabriel, left, and Derek Toa.

Inmates involved in the Arts in Corrections (AIC) program at California State Prison-Sacramento (CSP-SAC) were treated to a very special guitar workshop. Thomas Gabriel, the oldest grandchild of the late singer Johnny Cash, visited the guitar classes on A and B facility, two of the prison’s level IV yards on Oct. 2.

Speaking to the guitar students, Gabriel shared his personal struggle with addiction and alcoholism and how he too spent time in prison just like them.

It was finally, through faith and music, that he was able to get sober. He spent time with the guitar class performing and teaching them new techniques on their guitars.

For the inmates, Gabriel’s story really hit home. They said they could relate to his struggles and how music was therapeutic for them.

Gabriel’s music can be found on most streaming services. Earlier this year he released his debut album, “Long Way Home.”

Programs, like the guitar classes through AIC, teach them skills and give them things to do instead of drugs.