Each year 30,000 people are detained in UK immigration removal centres for indefinite periods of time. They are held not as punishment for a crime, but to assist their removal from the country. They can be held for days, months or years. Their lives are on hold, everything is uncertain, and their detention feels arbitrary. Music In Detention (MID) fosters music-making in detention centers by organising music workshops in which detainees and local people work creatively together. Guided by specialist musicians, they learn to express their personal stories, sharing thoughts and emotions through music and lyrics. MID helps detainees get stronger inside and gives them courage for the future. The charity believes that working through music can give immigration detainees a powerful way to voice their feelings, concerns and hopes. They also believe that music can help break down barriers of prejudice about immigration and asylum, so they work with communities local to detention centres to create music in response to detainees and their stories.
MID has been bringing expert musicians into centres since 2005. Each year they involve around 2,500 detainees and 200 community participants, in over 200 workshops and produce up to eight CDs of new music. MID recently released a project which is unlike any of their previous albums: they have selected 10 out of the 400 tracks that were recorded over the years as a result of their workshops at detention centres. With this compilation CD, MID aims to raise awareness for their organisation.