Vipassana Meditation in Prisons; In March 1993, a woman named Kiran Bedi became Inspector General of the Tihar Jail in New Delhi, the largest prison in India holding nearly 10,000 inmates. In her search for a technique of rehabilitation which would not only prepare her inmates for a sucessful return to society but also render the prison environment more peaceful and harmonious, she learned about Vipassana and its prior use in prisons. The first 10 day Vipassana course was taught within the Tihar Jail in 1994. Many other courses followed for both men and women, including a course for over 1,000 inmates, one of the largest courses ever held in modern times. Vipassana courses are currently being held in three U.S. correctional facilities: the W. E. Donaldson Correctional Facility, a level 6 maximum-security state prison in Bessemer, Alabama, near Birmingham; the San Francisco Jail, which was very successful; and the North Rehabilitation Facility (N.R.F.) a minimum-security facility of the King County jail system in Seattle, Washington. The Dhamma Brothers, an independent film about the development of meditation in an Alabama maximum security prison, debuted in 2008.
Updates from Jericho
from staff ...
“Walking into a prison, hearing the doors clang shut, sitting with a bunch of convicts … I looked into the mirror of those men’s eyes … the rage, victim, and the perpetrator all there before me … in me …”
from participants ...
“My old story, all the garbage today in my dump; in my new story I see reality. I grew up with two of me, the man that tried to do good and the child that never felt good. What I lost the most, the value of life that is what I lost. Today I have found this value in me, I do matter, I do count.”