from KC Walpole: Greetings:
Hope all is well. This month marks the end of the 11th MBSR cycle for Lowell CI. We averaged about 80 or so for each day of the retreat. Our count was down in part because about 20 or so of the female youthful offenders were kept in their dorms because of the H1N1 virus. The Department of Corrections for Florida will be running the numbers for recidivism and it will be interesting to see what trends, themes and patterns emerge. In most cases, it will be a little early as most stats are computed on two or three years out and our program is still a little new to get a solid snapshot. However, it has survived a lot of bumps and come December it will be three years.
The faces on the inmates after the 8 week program and five day retreat never cease to amaze me. The program has taken on a life of its own within the institution. The shift appears to be not in how many hoops are we going to have to jump through but can we make it happen. We are talking of a prison that holds over 2,500 inmates with classifications from female youthful offenders to women’s death row.
There is another aspect that comes to my mind every time I look at a face in those photos. That is about 80 percent of those women have one to three kids. This is not about just touching the women we teach, it morphs out to a lot of families.
If all goes well, it appears that MBSR, meditation and yoga will become a part of the core programming for the re-entry dorm program in January. There is still a lot to work out but it is looking very positive at the moment. Know I wish you well. Do good and take care.
Yours in the Dharma
Kinloch C. Walpole Gateless Gate Zen Center 1208 NW 4th Street Gainesville, Florida 32601 Phone: (352) 222-0006 web: Gatelessgate.org