Why Yoga in Prison? "The truth is we are not getting the rehabilitation we need to make it in the free world. Some of us see that we need to take our rehabilitation into our own hands if we're going to make it." Prisoner, Mule Creek Prison, California.
There is growing evidence to support the teaching of spiritual practices, such as Yoga and meditation, in prisons. A Minnesota-based consensus panel observed that spirtual approaches may be quite valuable in substance-abuse treatment for offenders, and recommended providing a time and suitable place for individual meditation, reflection, or prayer. A study at Seattle's North Rehabilitation Facility found that the recidivism rate for inmates who took a 10-day Vipassana mediation retreat was 56%, a 25% improvement over recidivism rates in the general inmate population. A follow-up study by the Addictive Behaviors Research Center at the University of Washington found that drug use, drug and alchol-related consequences, and self-reported levels among those who took the course, compared to those who did not.
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