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A real no brainer

Meditation in prison

By Jeff Terrill

Fort Wayne Reader

2016-07-14


According to a 2016 Prison Policy Initiative report, approximately 2.3 million people are incarcerated in the U.S. More than half of all inmates return to prison within three years from the date of their release. Bernie Sanders mentioned while on the campaign trail back in 2015 that it costs more to send a person to prison than it does to send a student to the University of Virginia.

Meet Steve. Steve isnít a real person. Steve owns a painting business.

Steve served five years in prison for selling a small amount of cocaine to a co-worker who was wearing a wire and working off charges of his own. Steve is on probation now and has a few months to go before his release.

Steve makes no excuses for his past behavior. He didnít use to really like his life. Now he loves his life. Steve used to do drugs and party to try to feel good. Now, heís clean and has never felt better.

Steve attributes all of his success to meditation. Thatís right, meditation.

Steve learned to meditate while he was incarcerated. He heard meditation could reduce hypertension, stress and anxiety, along with a host of other benefits. So he signed up for the class and heís been meditating ever since.

Steve volunteers at a jail about an hour away. Twice each week Steve accompanies a group of meditation trainers who recently received governmental approval to teach meditation to a small group of prisoners.

Steve knows first hand that meditation allows him to be much more centered and calm. He is aware of the research that shows that teaching mediation to prisoners leads to a reduction in future crimes, improves inmatesí behaviors, reduces criminal thinking and the effects of post-traumatic stress. Steve knows meditation makes him less impulsive, more focused and compassionate.

Steve also knows the training is very inexpensive. No special equipment or computers or books are needed Ė only a chair or cushion or floor is required. Sitting quietly and calming the mind for twenty minutes in the morning and at night are among the favorite times of Steveís day.

Even Steveís probation officer learned to meditate after watching all of Steveís success. Steve encourages all of his employees to meditate and he makes sure that they know that meditation is compatible with all types of religions and philosophies. There are many different types of meditations. Steve practices transcendental meditation, but heís confident that any type will help.

Steve hopes one day that the people who run jails and prisons will realize that it makes great business sense to teach meditation to all inmates.

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Jeff Terrill is a partner/shareholder with the law firm of Arnold Terrill Anzini, P.C. Mr. Terrill represents clients accused of crimes throughout northeast Indiana. You can contact Mr. Terrill with any questions or comments at his office at 260.420.7777 or via email at jterrill@fortwaynedefense.com. Learn more about his firm at www.fortwaynedefense.com. This article expressed opinions and observations of the author, is not intended as legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship between the author and the reader. Please consult a qualified attorney with any legal questions or issues you might have. Thank you

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