of my generation is that a human being can alter his life by altering his attitudes of mind. ~ William James
is to provide prisoners, prison staff and prison volunteers, with the most effective, evidence-based tools for rehabilitation, self-transformation, and personal & professional development.
In particular, we provide and promote the use of proven effective mindfulness-based interventions (MBI’s).
Our dual focus is on transforming individual lives as well as transforming the corrections system as a whole in order to mitigate its extremely destructive impact on families, communities and the overall social capital of our society.
is to establish these mindfulness-based interventions (MBI’s) as the evidenced-based norm in education, rehabilitation, drug and alcohol treatment, pre-release and post release programs for prisoners as well as in staff development and leadership training programs for corrections professionals. We believe in the power of mindfulness practice and the various mindfulness-based interventions (MBI’s) to change behaviors, heal and transform lives, and ultimately to prevent crime, reduce recidivism, and enhance community safety and wellbeing. We also believe in the power of mindfulness training to positively enhance performance, quality of life, and health and wellbeing among corrections professionals while at the same time creating healthier, more humane environments for prisoners and staff alike and ultimately achieving better outcomes for prisoners, staff and the community.
We promote scientific research initiatives according to the highest academic and professional standards to measure the effectiveness of mindfulness practice and mindfulness-based interventions (MBI's) in corrections and to continuously improve the quality of their application and implementation in correctional programming. It is also our goal to promote and support prison chapel programs providing faith-based approaches to mindfulness, meditation and yoga from the world’s great contemplative traditions.
As the international, nonsectarian, contemplative support network (the Prison Dharma Network) for prisoners, prison volunteers, and corrections professionals, we promote these paths of wakefulness and non-aggression as ideal vehicles for self-rehabilitation and personal transformation.
I am pleased to learn that the Prison Dharma Network is working to support rehabilitation through education within the prison system. I am confident that these projects will be of long term benefit both to prison inmates and society at large and offer my prayers for success.
H.H. Dalai Lama
We envision correctional institutions and community corrections facilities and programs as safe, humane and education-focused environments that genuinely support healing, rehabilitation and personal transformation -- making use of the proven-effective mindfulness meditation and body-mind awareness practices of the world's great contemplative traditions and the research-based integration of these traditional practices with contemporary psychology and modern therapeutic methodologies.
We envision a restorative and transformative criminal justice system that genuinely and intelligently focuses on public safety and harm reduction rather than punishment or revenge.
We envision a significantly smaller and dramatically less expensive prison system that reserves secure facilities for providing humane, mindfulness-based treatment and rehabilitation for violent offenders and employs proven outcome-effective and cost-effective community corrections programs for non-violent offenders.
Through the success of such programs, we envision a faster and more successful reintegration of rehabilitated and transformed prisoners into the community and a gradual shift toward more reliance on high quality, mindfulness-based community corrections programs that keep individuals in the community – working, supporting their families, raising their children and paying taxes rather than becoming a tax burden to the community while housed in prisons that often do them more harm than good.
Empowering Transformative Community Leadership
We further envision a growing number of transformed prisoners and ex-prisoners emerging as community leaders and change agents working to heal and transform individuals and communities both inside and outside the walls of our correctional institutions, thus contributing significantly to the overall health and well-being of society.
Belief in Basic Goodness
We believe in the unconditional basic goodness of all human beings and in their innate potential for healing and transformation.
We favor the healing and transformational paradigm of the Restorative and Transformative Justice models of criminal justice practice over the more punitive paradigm of the Retributive Justice model.
Support for All Prisoners
We support all prisoners, prison volunteers and corrections professionals regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, religious persuasion, politics, or sexual orientation, according every individual the utmost respect and dignity.
We believe in spiritual, humanistic, restorative and empowering models for self-transformation and rehabilitation, preferring to “teach someone to fish vs. giving a fish alone.”
Please join us in transforming lives by helping to expand and nurture the growing prison mindfulness movement.
Prison Dharma Network (Prison Mindfulness Institute) is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) Massachusetts corporation. All U.S. donations are tax deductible.