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“I would just feel really relaxed and at peace”: findings from a pilot prison yoga program in Australia

Bartels, L, Oxman, LN and Hopkins, A 2019 , '“I would just feel really relaxed and at peace”: findings from a pilot prison yoga program in Australia' , International Journal of Offender Therapy and Comparative Criminology, vol. 63, no. 15-16 , 2531–2549 , doi: 10.1177/0306624X19854869.

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Abstract

International research provides support for yoga as a well-being intervention in prison.No systematic research has been undertaken in Australia to assess the effectivenessof prison yoga programs. In 2017, the authors, in partnership with Australian CapitalTerritory (ACT) Corrective Services and the Yoga Foundation, introduced a weeklypilot yoga program at the ACT prison. This article presents quantitative and qualitativefindings from the program. Although the small sample size (n = 8) is acknowledged,our findings indicate that participants attained statistically and clinically significant benefitfrom the program, demonstrated by improvements in their levels of depression, anxiety,self-esteem, goal-direction, negative affect, and non-acceptance. They also reportedimproved flexibility, sleep and relaxation, pain reduction, and identified improvementsin their mental well-being, commenting that the program made them feel “calm” and“at peace.” The article concludes by advocating for the expansion of such programs inAustralian prisons and further research on such programs.

Item Type: Article
Authors/Creators:Bartels, L and Oxman, LN and Hopkins, A
Keywords: yoga, prison, meditation, Australia, prisoner well-being
Journal or Publication Title: International Journal of Offender Therapy and Comparative Criminology
Publisher: Sage Publications, Inc.
ISSN: 1552-6933
DOI / ID Number: 10.1177/0306624X19854869
Copyright Information:

Copyright 2019 The Authors

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