Take a break from the legislature with MTIP client Kelly Worthan’s playlist

Today is transmittal at the legislature. We look forward to providing you a policy update soon, but today we are turning to Montana Innocence Project client Kelly Worthan for a reprieve as he shares his love for music and favorite songs. 

Montana Innocence Project client Kelly Worthan uses music and poetry to cope with the nearly two decades of wrongful incarceration he has endured at Montana State Prison.

Client Kelly Worthan photographed at Montana State Prison in summer 2022
(Photo by Sarah Mosquera)

“Even though I can’t play a musical instrument or carry a tune, I love music and poetry,” Kelly wrote the Montana Innocence Project in a letter. “Music is another form of poetry in my eyes, or should I say ears? Music is essential. It can instantly transport you back to a time, a place, and the experience you were having when a certain song was playing.”

The last concert Kelly attended was Jackyl at a venue in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, back in 2001 or 2002. Today, he uses music to transport him out of his experience for a few minutes. He views music as “magic” and the people who create it as “magicians.”

“Music effects everyone in so many different ways,” Kelly wrote. “We use music to convey a message or belief. Music is used to alter moods. Music is used for worship. We use music to rally around at a sporting event. Music is used to inspire bravery for battle. We use music to invoke pride. Music is used to celebrate a wedding or holiday. We use music to mourn a death or loss. Music cheers you up when you are feeling down or mellows you out when you are wound-up. A world without music would be like a world without a sun: cold and dead.”

At MSP, Kelly accesses music through a personal MP3 player he purchased for $145 through the company Keefe Group that services the correctional market. Songs cost $2 each. Although the catalog is limited, Kelly is able to listen to some of his favorites, which we added into the playlist below: