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Benefits of Mindfulness Meditation in a Corrections Setting

NCJ Number
James M. Dunn
Date Published
March 2010
37 pages
This paper examines the benefits of offering meditation and other contemplative practices in a correctional setting.
The paper examines the benefits of offering meditation and other contemplative practices to offenders in a correctional setting. Previous research has shown that meditative and contemplative practices can affect an individual's mental and general health, improving their overall sense of well-being. This paper argues that these benefits could be applied to restorative justice, enabling inmates to better adapt to the stresses of life in a correctional setting. Some of the benefits to prisoners include an enhanced sense of well-being, improved health leading to a reduction in medical problems such as high blood pressure, increased self-esteem, lower rates of substance abuse, improved anger management skills, a significant reduction in aggressive behavior on the part of the inmates, and a reduction in the number of prison rule infractions. Following an introduction to meditation and other contemplative practices, the paper presents information on the clinical applications of these practices and reviews empirical studies that have explored the impact of these practices on physical and emotional health with special emphasis on those studies that have been conducted in a correctional setting. The paper also examines how these practices fit in with the principles of restorative justice. References