Two crucial issues face our correctional systems today: excessive levels of stress for correctional staff and inmates, and high rates of recidivism. Though governments spend tens of billions of taxpayer dollars each year on corrections, these problems remain unsolved. It's time for a new approach.
High Levels of Stress and Recidivism
High levels of stress in prisons cause many problems for correctional staff. These include ill health, family breakdown, disciplinary problems, substance abuse, early retirement, and a life span sixteen years less than the general population. High levels of inmate stress also produce ill health. They lead to increased prison violence, increased rule infractions, and other dysfunctional behavior. There is an urgent need for the introduction of a cost-effective program to eliminate these problems.
Despite the earnest efforts of correctional professionals over many decades, recidivism rates remain high. The U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics has estimated that two-thirds of felony prisoners reoffend within three years of release.1 The effectiveness of existing rehabilitation programs has been repeatedly challenged in the criminological literature for over twenty years. Additionally, many inmates are denied access to rehabilitation programs due to the lack of resources.
Maharishi's Transcendental Meditation program
Maharishi's Integrated System of Rehabilitation is a simple, cost-effective method of rehabilitation that has been used with outstanding success in many correctional systems throughout the world over the last twenty-two years, including prison systems and juvenile correctional institutions in the United States, Spain, India, Sri Lanka, Brazil, Mexico, Chile, Paraguay, the Philippines, and Senegal. Maharishi's Transcendental Meditation program, the practical aspect of Maharishi's Integrated System of Rehabilitation, has been learned by more than four million people around the world, including tens of thousands of inmates and correctional officers. Transcendental Meditation is easy and enjoyable to learn and practice. It is practiced for fifteen to twenty minutes twice daily sitting comfortably in a chair with eyes closed. A scientifically validated technique, it requires neither specific beliefs nor adoption of a particular lifestyle.
More than five hundred scientific studies carried out in over two hundred universities and research institutions in twenty-seven countries throughout the world during the last twenty-four years verify that Transcendental Meditation brings wide-ranging benefits to mind, body, behavior, and the environment. The research demonstrates that this program is the most effective method available for dissolving stress, thereby promoting health, the unfoldment of mental potential, personal growth, and social harmony.
Transcendental Meditation program in the Criminal Justice System
In corrections, Transcendental Meditation has been found to substantially reduce recidivism.2 Other documented benefits include: decreased prison rule infractions, decreased prison violence, a reduction in negative character traits, decreased anxiety, increased participation in positive activities, improved health, and development of personality.
By reason of the profound and holistic benefits of Transcendental Meditation program in the field of rehabilitation, Maharishi's Integrated System of Rehabilitation has been widely endorsed by governments, judges, lawyers, rehabilitation professionals, correctional officers and administrators, police officers, members of the public, and inmates themselves.
Maharishi's Integrated System of Rehabilitation can alleviate the two crucial problems of recidivism and high levels of stress. It can save the governments of the world tens of billions of dollars of taxpayers' money every year.
1) U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics, Recidivism of Prisoners Released in 1983 (1989).
2) C.R. Bleick and A.I. Abrams, Journal of Criminal Justice 15 (1987): 211-230.
Introduction to Maharishi's Integrated System of Rehabilitation
Benefits of the Transcendental Meditation program for Correctional Officers (Part 1)
Benefits of the Transcendental Meditation program for Correctional Officers (Part 2)
Benefits of the Transcendental Meditation program for Inmates (Part 1)
Benefits of the Transcendental Meditation program for Inmates (Part 2)
Experiences and Reports of Correctional Officers and Inmates (Part 1)
Experiences and Reports of Correctional Officers and Inmates (Part 2)
Benefits to the Department of Corrections
Savings for Taxpayers and Victims of Crime
Summary of Benefits of Transcendental Meditation program in Corrections
Maharishi University of Management
Department of Rehabilitation,
1700 University Court, Fairfield, IA 52556 U.S.A.