How Meditation Is Helping Convicts Get out of Prison (Video)
Our prisons are overpopulated. Many prisoners are released from prison only to be sent back soon after. How can we create a better system? That is a popular question and one that has many theories. It is also a question that has taken too long to answer and see changes made.
About 44.7% of former federal inmates and about 76.6% of former state inmates will be arrested again within five years of their release.
Most criminals with violent lives and behaviors have only known one reality, and it is violence. They were never given the opportunity to take a step back and examine themselves and the world around them. They were taught the only way to solve problems and communicate with others was through violence.
When we send a group of people with this same outlook to live together in prison, how can we expect this thought process to change when they are released?
What if we gave our prisoners the opportunity to step out of their violent reality? How would it affect their view of the world if they knew there was more to it than hate and violence?
There is a solution that can help our prison system, and that is to help our prisoners connect to themselves.
To learn more about Maull and the Prison Mindfulness Institute, check out this powerful video.
That is what Fleet Maull, Founder of Prison Mindfulness Institute (PMI) is trying to do. He is bringing meditation and mindfulness into prisons and inviting inmates to explore who they really are underneath the physical and emotional scars.
“If we really want to reduce crime, if we really want a safer and healthier world, we have to be willing to look at the causes and conditions from which harmful behaviors arise in the first place – both at the individual and social level.” – Fleet Maull
Maull, who served 14 years in prison, knows exactly what these inmates are experiencing and what will help them make positive changes. During his time behind bars, Maull had a meditation practice, and it inspired other inmates.
The Prison Mindfulness Institute is continuing his work by providing inmates with books on meditation and spiritual practices.
Maull believes that by equipping inmates with the tools of mindfulness and meditation, they will be able to grow as a person, handle situations more mindfully and positively, and find an inner sense of peace.
It’s time our society stops sweeping our inmates and prison system under the ruh, and start acknowledging how badly our inmates need help.
The more we prepare our inmates to live their lives outside of prison, the better chance they have of living with compassion and forgiveness. Do we want to send our inmates back into the world angry and unable to cope in positive ways? Or should we send them into the world with a second chance, capable of being productive members of society?
Do you think mindfulness and meditation can really change people? Can a meditation practice help our inmates? Please leave your thoughts in the comments below and continue this important discussion.