By Pauline France

Thao Nguyen, frontwoman for San Francisco-based band Thao and the Get Down Stay Down, spoke with AOL’s Spinner to share her experiences as a volunteer in a California women’s prison.

Nguyen told the website that the California Coalition for Women Prisoners (CCWP) inspired much of the spirit of her band’s latest record We The Common, and described some of the women she had the honor of meeting.

“I have met no monsters,” she said. “I have met mothers who live to see their children again. I have met women who after decades of abuse defended themselves. I have met women who have struggled with a lifetime of addiction. I have met people who, had they come from different backgrounds or been better resourced, would not be in prison at all.”

Click here to read more about Nguyen’s inspiring story with female inmates, and watch her performing the title track off We the Common below: