Vipassana meditation : its role in prison reform and reintegration of prisoners in society
MA in International and Intercultural Management
In the paper that follows, I have investigated how Vipassana meditation, as taught by S.N. Goenka facilitates prison reform and the reintegration of prisoners into the society. Vipassana, a meditation technique rediscovered by Gautama, the Buddha is a technique of self-realization through self-observation: the art of which promotes conscious lifestyle changes, enhances concentration of the mind and facilitates deeper psychological introspection to bring about lasting behavorial changes. It is being used in prisons in India, United States and other countries as a tool for reform, with the ultimate aim of reducing recidivism. In India, the police and jail administration also learn Vipassana to improve the prison environment. This paper includes a literature review with applicable readings and results from previous studies carried out on police and prisoners. Interview with 28 subjects consisting of police, and jail staff, current inmates in the prision, released prisoners as well as community members is a part of the research too. The results from the data analyzed shows that Vipassana plays an important role in reforming the prison environment and bringing inner change within prisoners. It brings a fundamental change in the police making them more morally responsible towards their duty. It gives the prisoners the strength of mind to self-correct themselves and reduces their feelings of hatred and revenge. Released prisoners benefit the most from this technique as they develop the ability to live a responsible and moral life in the society with the help of Vipassana.
Kela, Akanksa, "Vipassana meditation : its role in prison reform and reintegration of prisoners in society" (2003). Capstone Collection. 1773.