Friday, February 26, 2010

Transcendental Meditation Program in Guatemalan Prisons

Transcendental Meditation Program in Guatemalan Prisons 

Recently the government of Guatemala has requested that a program including the practice of the Transcendental Meditation technique be offered to prisoners throughout the prison system of Guatemala.  The goal of the program is to provide genuine rehabilitation for the inmates of the prisons and to improve the quality of life in the nation as a whole by reducing collective stress and creating greater national coherence.

Transcendental Meditation Technique

The Transcendental Meditation technique is a simple, natural, effortless process practiced 15–20 minutes twice daily while sitting comfortably with eyes closed. It is unique among techniques of meditation, distinguished by its effortlessness, naturalness and profound effectiveness. 

The TM technique allows your mind to settle inward, beyond thought, to experience the silent reservoir of energy, creativity and intelligence found within everyone—a natural state of restful alertness. During the practice, your brain functions with significantly greater coherence and your body gains deep rest

Transcendental Meditation in Rehabilitation

The Transcendental Meditation program has been widely used for effective prison rehabilitation. Studies indicate that it produces positive changes in health, personality development, behavior, and reduced recidivism (lower return to prison) among inmates. One study of recidivism found that 259 inmates of Folsom and San Quentin prisons and Deuel Vocational Institute in California who learned the Transcendental Meditation technique had 35-40 percent fewer new prison terms compared to the matched controls, whereas it is known that traditional prison education, vocational training, and psychotherapy do not consistently reduce recidivism.

A large scale study of 11,000 prisoners and 900 staff officers in Senegal, West Africa in 1987 found that the Transcendental Meditation program markedly decreased prison violence, health problems and that it reduced recidivism to a mere eight percent (

TM Program in Guatemala City Granja Penal de Pavón Prison

In 1984 the TM technique was offered to the administration, guards and prisoners of the main women's and men's prisons outside of Guatemala City. The men's prison was Granja Penal de Pavón prison located outside the town of Fraijanes near Guatemala City. The women's prison was the Centro de Orientacion Femenino (COF) also in Fraijanes. The prison meditation programs were studied and the guards reported less violence and drug use when inmates and guards both practiced the Transcendental Meditation technique.
Granja Penal de Pavón

Transcendental Meditation® in Criminal Rehabilitation and Crime Prevention

About the Book

In contrast to the generally dismal results of various approaches to rehabilitation, these consciousness-based strategies have proven effective in preventing crime and rehabilitating offenders!

This book will introduce you to a powerful, unique approach to offender rehabilitation and crime prevention. In contrast to the generally dismal results of most rehabilitation approaches, studies covering periods of 1-15 years indicate that this new approach—employing the Maharishi Transcendental Meditation® and TM-Sidhi programs—reduces recidivism from 35-50%.

Transcendental Meditation® in Criminal Rehabilitation and Crime Prevention provides the reader with a theoretical overview, new original research findings, and examples of practical implementation. With this book, you will explore what motivates people to commit crimes, with emphasis on stress and restricted self-development. Then you'll examine the results and policy implications of applying these consciousness-based techniques to offender rehabilitation and crime reduction. Most chapters include tables or figures that make the information easy to understand.

Transcendental Meditation® in Criminal Rehabilitation and Crime Prevention does not merely review the theory behind this innovative approach to rehabilitation and prevention but also emphasizes the practical value of the programs it describes and reports how techniques and strategies based on Transcendental Meditation® have been put to use in a variety of settings.

This book will familiarize the reader with:

  • a rehabilitation approach so universal in its applicability that any adult or juvenile offender can begin it at the point of sentencing, during incarceration, or at the point of parole
  • the in-depth background on adult growth and higher states of consciousness necessary to understand this consciousness-based, developmental approach
  • the results of empirical studies conducted in prisons around the country, with up to 15 years of follow-up
  • a preview of how cost-effective the rehabilitation program might be
  • implications for public policy and the judicial system—including an innovative alternative sentencing program
  • how this approach deals not only with individuals but also with the community as a whole—when practiced by a small percentage of the population, the TM and TM-Sidhi programs may reduce crime in the larger community
  • how these society-level prevention programs may prove to be effecitive in reducing not only school violence in the community but, if applied on sufficient scale, war deaths and terrorism in the greater society

Table of Contents

  • Contributors
  • Preface
  • Acknowledgments
  • Foreword
  • In Memoriam: Charles N. Alexander, PhD, 1950-1998
  • The Transcendental Meditation Program: A Consciousness-Based Developmental Technology for Rehabilitation and Crime Prevention
  • The Enlightened Sentencing Project: A Judicial Innovation
  • Effectiveness of the Transcendental Meditation Program in Criminal Rehabilitation and Substance Abuse Recovery: A Review of the Research
  • Effects of the Transcendental Meditation Program on Neuroendocrine Abnormalities Associated with Aggression and Crime
  • First Prison Study Using the Transcendental Meditation Program: La Tuna Federal Penitentiary, 1971
  • Walpole Study of the Transcendental Meditation Program in Maximum Security Prisoners I: Cross-Sectional Differences in Development and Psychopathology
  • Walpole Study of the Transcendental Meditation Program in Maximum Security Prisoners II: Longitudinal Study of Development and Psychopathology
  • Walpole Study of the Transcendental Meditation Program in Maximum Security Prisoners III: Reduced Recidivism
  • Effects of the Transcendental Meditation Program on Recidivism Among Former Inmates of Folsom Prison: Survival Analysis of 15-Year Follow-Up Data
  • Consciousness-Based Rehabilitation of Inmates in the Netherlands Antilles: Psychosocial and Cognitive Changes
  • Attacking Crime at Its Source: Consciousness-Based Education in the Prevention of Violence and Antisocial Behavior
  • Preventing Crime Through the Maharishi Effect
  • Preventing Terrorism and International Conflict: Effects of Large Assemblies of Participants in the Transcendental Meditation and TM-Sidhi Programs
  • The Transcendental Meditation Program in the Senegalese Penitentiary System
  • Cost Savings from Teaching the Transcendental Meditation Program in Prisons
  • Index