Prison Courses

Prison courses are awesome. There appears to be an unlimited upside and very little downside to teaching prisoners how to meditate. Our prisons are incredibly overpopulated and the “lock them up as punishment so they change” model isn’t working. In 2002 the first 10 day course was held at Donaldson Correctional Facility, a high security prison near Bessemer, Alabama. The documentary The Dhamma Brothers shows the inmates sharing their appreciation for the opportunity to learn such a technique. Courses have continued at Donaldson and were temporarily offered at a prison in Washington state but in 2012 those are the only prisons in the USA that have taught this technique. People say that there isn’t statistical evidence that this works but part of that is because the sample size is so small.

We need to find a way to introduce this technique to more prisons. If you know any more about the success of prison courses around the world please let me know. I just want to help get the word out that this technique exists and that it has worked successfully in prisons. India has a prison with a meditation center built inside its walls! Check out the below documentaries if you want to learn more.

A prison course in India:

A prison course in Alabama:


This entry was posted in For Non Meditators, Helping Others by Ryan Shelton. Bookmark the permalink.

About Ryan Shelton

While I'm currently married to a beautiful woman while teaching physics at Padua Academy, these descriptors fail to capture the totality of my adventurous life. I have hiked over 1700 miles, traveled to 5 continents, managed a bakery, started a meditation center, counseled troubled teens, attended Duke, UNC, and Harvard, protected forests as a wildland firefighter, volunteered thousands of hours with Americorps, rafted the Grand Canyon, SCUBA dived on the Great Barrier Reef, and continues to find new adventures. I hope my writing encourages you to pursue your dreams and be the best version of yourself while supporting your communities to work together to solve the current challenges in our world.

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