Project Lullaby helps Hiland inmates write, perform songs dedicated to their children

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EAGLE RIVER, Alaska (KTUU) - An audience of over 200 crowded the basketball court at Hiland Mountain Correctional Center Saturday afternoon for the prison’s second ever Project Lullaby Concert, a program that helps mothers behind bars connect with their children through music.

Project Lullaby pairs local musicians with 15 inmates at Hiland, helping them write a song to dedicate to their children. Rebecca Lloyd was one of the inmates chosen to participate this year.

“It's hard to express to your kids that you've messed up,” Lloyd said. “Music is a really good way to express your feelings without it having it be awkward you know?”

“Through this music I can tell them that I love them and that I'm sorry and that I might have made poor choices but I always had them in mind and I never forgot about them,” she added.

Lloyd’s teaching artist Dolores Catherino says Project Lullaby has been a rewarding experience for her as well.

“Having these women talk to me about their children and what motivates them to do better when they get out was so powerful to me,” Catherino said. “It just lit me up to do my absolute best to really capture the emotion in the words.”

Even in just its second year, Hiland Superintendent Gloria Johnson says the program has already had a major impact, with two former inmates who participated in the program last year returning to help out this year.

“It's been quite successful,” Johnson said. “As you see, we had two of the people that participated last year came back as recording artists.”

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