Transcendental Meditation in prison:
freedom behind bars
The costly warehousing of inmates
The U.S. has the highest incarceration rate of any country, and that rate has steadily increased since the 1980s. Over 2.4 million Americans are currently serving time—one out of every 100 adults.
- More than 50% of released offenders return to prison within three years
- State spending on corrections has quadrupled over the past 20 years as the second fastest growing budget area ($52 billion annually)
- The cost to incarcerate one inmate is an estimated $65,000/year, well above the median U.S. income
Combating recidivism through holistic rehabilitation
Over the past 35 years, the Transcendental Meditation technique has been taught to inmates and guards in some of America’s toughest prisons, including San Quentin, Folsom and Walpole, with dramatic benefit. Key results include:
- More than a 30% reduction in recidivism rates
- Fewer rule infractions in prison
- Less criminal thinking, psychological distress and trauma symptoms
- Decreased anxiety, depression, fatigue and anger
- Increased spiritual well-being, optimism and purposefulness
How the Transcendental Meditation technique works
Through providing a profound state of rest and relaxation, the TM technique allows inmates to relieve symptoms of deeply rooted trauma that form the basis of criminal behavior. As the grip of past traumas is loosened, inmates naturally calm down and become less violent and begin to take greater responsibility for their actions. An easy-to-learn and non-religious program, the TM technique is warmly received by both prison guards and inmates.
Help create systemic change
The recidivism rates in U.S. prisons are unacceptable and carry extraordinary human and financial costs that affect current and future victims of violence, the inmates themselves and society as a whole. Help the David Lynch Foundation further corroborate the merits of a Transcendental Meditation-based approach to prison rehabilitation through the establishment of large-scale demonstration projects in key penitentiaries in the United States.