Benefits of Meditation ~ How Meditation Reduces Stress among Inmates; Improves Recidivism by over 50%
For years prisons have been searching for ways to reduce the cycling of prisoners who once they are let out quickly return back to their previous incarceration situation.
With the huge costs of prisoner and the time they are incarcerated, administrators finding out the mediation helps, they have been delighted.
Well, somehow mediation and even Yoga has been introduced into prisons over the last decade, and there has become a huge improvement in prisoner recidivism and in improving lives.
In fact, many prisoners are there because they have physical and mental problems that they have never been able to solve.
Therefore, meditation practice has helped these inmates, many of them transform from bad duds into nice gentlemen. I will be adding a discussion along with videos,that we hope will explain how meditation practice has provided a miracle, for each of them.
Why Mindfulness Practices Using Meditation Works So Well on Improving Recidivism in Prisons is a Less Costly Solution
“Over the last several decades, there have been several promising developments in our approach to the challenges of crime and criminal justice. This paper will focus on two of these developments: contemplative practices (including meditation and mindfulness) within the prison system and restorative justice.
It may not be immediately apparent how these two disparate developments apply to the criminal justice system, but it is the intention of this paper to show that these two trends can come together in a way that can be applied in the prison system.
I will also discuss the benefits of meditative or contemplative practices, both in general and specifically to the their value in a correctional setting. Meditative and contemplative practices are derived primarily from the Eastern religions, especially Buddhism.
Most notable are the mindfulness-based stress reduction (MSBR) programs and mindfulness-based cognitive therapies (MBCT) that have emerged from the work begun by Jon Kabat-Zinn thirty years ago.
MBSR programs have demonstrated successes in a variety of areas, especially the medical and behavioral sciences.
Additionally, recent findings in the field of neurobiology demonstrate how these programs can actually alter the brain through its capacity for neuroplasticity, the brains ability to develop new connections and neurons.
Because the brain has this capacity, meditation practices can actually “rewire” or alter the brain in ways that literally change the mind and lead to more prosocial behaviors (Siegal, 2007, 2010), thereby offering the possibility of a truly Benefits of Mindfulness Meditation in a Corrections Setting 4 transformative corrections program.”
Incarceration Costs in the US alone are Horrendous
Did you know that the cost to incarcerate a prison in NY is $60,000 a year. On total it costs the US Federal and State are as follows according to Vera:
“Vera researchers found that the total taxpayer cost of prisons in the 40 states that participated in this study was 13.9 percent higher than the cost reflected in those states’ combined corrections budgets. The total price to taxpayers was $39 billion, $5.4 billion more than the $33.5 billion reflected in corrections budgets alone.
The greatest cost drivers outside corrections departments were as follows:
> underfunded contributions to retiree health care for corrections employees ($1.9 billion);
> states’ contributions to retiree health care on behalf of their corrections departments ($837 million);
> employee benefits, such as health insurance ($613 million);
> states’ contributions to pensions on behalf of their corrections departments ($598 million);
> capital costs ($485 million);
> hospital and other health care for the prison population ($335 million); and
> underfunded pension contributions for corrections employees ($304 million).
Among the participating states, costs outside the corrections department ranged from less than 1 percent of the total cost of prisons, in Arizona, to as much as 34 percent in Connecticut.
The extra costs accounted for less than 5 percent of total prison costs in 16 states, 5 to 9.9 percent of total prison costs in nine states, and 10 to 19.9 percent of total prison costs in nine states (Arkansas,
California, Delaware, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, New Jersey, Washington, and West Virginia). In six states—Connecticut, Illinois, Missouri, New York, Pennsylvania, and Texas—20 to 34 percent of the total taxpayer cost of prison was outside the corrections department budget.”
(To complement this report, the authors have produced a series of fact sheets with details about each state’s spending.
The fact sheets are available on Vera’s website, at www.vera.org/priceofprisons