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Prison officials, staff in Oregon, USA, praise Transcendental Meditation
Enlightenment - The Transcendental Meditation Magazine Translate This Article
12 June 2011
This article continues featuring the results of a scientific research study investigating the effects of the Transcendental Meditation technique on high-risk inmates in the state prison system in Oregon, United States.
Please see Part I and Part II of this series.
Observations of the prison staff
Gary Kilmer, the superintendent of the Oregon State Correctional Institution, brought the Transcendental Meditation program into his prison after learning the practice and experiencing the results for himself. He too has observed many positive changes in the inmates who have learned the TM practice, reporting that they are ''healthier, seem more calm, and are less reactive to situations that arise in the prison.''
Randy Geer, chief of inmate services for the Oregon Department of Corrections, elaborates: ''In a prison there is seldom a silent moment, let alone a moment of stillness. Transcendental Meditation offers a path to a more serene and centered self and soothes the pain. It works for both prison staff and inmates in creating an environment where healthy healing can occur and common humanity can be rediscovered.''
Dr. Tom O'Connor, co-collaborator and former research manager for the Oregon Department of Corrections, further explains: ''Prisons are difficult places to work and live: the concentration of danger, pain, betrayal of trust, guilt, shame, and blame makes it difficult to hold onto one's humanity. I have watched inmates learn Transcendental Meditation and become more human after a long and isolated period of becoming less human. TM helps to awaken, deepen, and solidify the kind of transformational process that we so badly need in our overburdened and costly correctional system.''
For more about the impact of the TM program in prisons, as well as a video interview with Dr. Tom O'Connor, please click here.
The Oregon prison project is continuing as the researchers track the men being released from prison. The earlier Folsom Prison research found not only significantly reduced rates of return to prison for TM practitioners but also a 20% reduction in felony convictions, less severity of new offenses, and improved parole outcomes (click here for more information). Will the meditating Oregon inmates likewise refrain from committing future crimes once out of prison and instead become contributing members of society? All present indicators suggest that they will, thanks to the rehabilitative prowess of the Transcendental Meditation technique.
Click here to view a another clip of inmates and staff at Oregon State Penitentiary talking about their experiences with Transcendental Meditation.
∙ Dominica Prison Takes Up Transcendental Meditation
∙ Foundation for Effective Rehabilitation—Dr Norman Rosenthal
∙ David Lynch Foundation prison programmes
∙ Can TM help fix our prison system?
∙ Inmates dive inward
© Copyright 2011 Maharishi Foundation USA
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