Rehab Using Mindfulness Meditation for Britain’s Most Dangerous Criminals

by Vins

Guided one-on-one mindfulness meditation is being proposed for rehabilitation purposes in high security prisons. Sixty of Britain’s most dangerous criminals, from eight of the highest security prisons, are undergoing daily mindfulness practices to learn how to subjugate violent impulses. 60 prisoners have voluntary chosen to practice mindfulness exercises and partner with psychologists and prison officers in this experiment.

According to studies conducted at Oxford University, mindfulness is proven to decrease stress and regulate emotional responses. Ruth Mann, head of the rehabilitation at the National Offender Management Service, witnessed the benefits of mindfulness meditation for petty criminals. Mann is one of the hopeful, advocating for the mindfulness meditation initiative to branch out. She asserts, “Early evidence suggests that mindfulness could impact factors linked to reoffending.”

Based on these findings, Mann and others in support of this initiative are hopeful that mindfulness practices will also benefit more violent criminals. By effectively coping with depression, anxiety, and stress, mindfulness meditation is a cost effective and sustainable solution to prisoners’ violent impulses. Mindfulness practices will be explored as “an important innovation in mental health which warrants serious attention.”

Source: Robert Booth, “Britain’s Most Dangerous Prisoners to Get Meditation Lessons,” The Guardian, October 19, 2015, http://www.theguardian.com/society/2015/oct/19/britains-most-dangerous-prisoners-to-get-meditation-lessons

Student Researcher: Amber Loredo (San Francisco State University)

Faculty Evaluator: Kenn Burrows (San Francisco State University)