Meditation program helps reduce violence AL prison
By JAY REEVES , 02.02.11, 04:33 AM EST
BESSEMER, Ala. — Deep inside an overcrowded prison with a reputation for mayhem, convicted killers, robbers and rapists gather in a small room. Eyes closed, they sit silently with their thoughts and consciences.
Their everyday life is just outside in the hall – a cacophony of clanging steel doors, yelling and feet shuffling along cold concrete floors. The noise never really ends; peace is at a premium in Alabama’s toughest lockup.
Despite a history of violence at the William E. Donaldson Correctional Facility, which is named for a slain corrections officer, the prison outside Birmingham has become the model for a meditation program that officials say helps inmates learn the self control and social skills they never got in the outside world.
Warden Gary Hetzel doesn’t fully understand how the program called Vipassana (which is pronounced vuh-‘POSH-uh-nuh) can transform violent inmates into calm men using contemplative Buddhist practices.
Read the entire post here….