While many debate the effectiveness of locking people up for extended periods of time as a way to change behavior, there is something to be said about what occurs when an individual is forced into a confined space and given the chance to reflect upon one’s actions. Now that’s not to say that the person will do that as a person must actually choose to do so, I’m just saying that similar to a meditation practice where a person chooses to enter into the confines of one’s mind in which to recognize its expansiveness, so to can the confines of a prison cell give one the safety needed to venture within.
Case in point, this recent Memphis Flyer post on how meditation is being used at a women’s correctional facility in Memphis to help teach inmates how to deal with stress.
According to Louis Goggans, PremaHealing, an organization specializing in meditation, healing, and emotional processing, uses breathing exercises to give those incarcerated an opportunity to experience their emotions without reacting to them. The program is also geared toward helping them with a successful transition once they are released.
A select group of inmates housed there participate in monthly meditation classes offered by Memphis-based PremaHealing, an organization specializing in meditation, healing, and emotional processing.
Carol Crane, co-founder of PremaHealing, said the classes teach offenders how to avoid stress.
“We go in and teach them breathing exercises and ways to calm the mind. If they do have emotions arise as a response, they can use these techniques to process through those emotions, instead of having to react to them,” Crane said.
PremaHealing began providing the classes six months ago after partnering with the support group Families of Incarcerated Individuals.
The classes are part of the Families of Incarcerated Individuals’ “Doorways Reentry” program, which helps female offenders make a successful transition after their release. There are around 15 women in the class each month.
Read more about how this meditation program is benefiting those incarcerated at the Mark H. Luttrell Correctional Center here.