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Lessons in flexibility: introducing a yoga program in an Australian prison

Hopkins, A, Bartels, L and Oxman, L 2019 , 'Lessons in flexibility: introducing a yoga program in an Australian prison' , International Journal for Crime, Justice and Social Democracy, vol. 8, no. 4 , pp. 47-61 , doi:

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International research provides support for yoga as a wellbeing intervention in prison. Until recently, no systematic research had been undertaken in Australia to assess the effectiveness of a yoga program, or consider the challenges of implementation. In 2017, the authors, in partnership with Australian Capital Territory (ACT) Corrective Services and the Yoga Foundation, introduced a pilot yoga program at the Alexander Maconochie Centre in the ACT. This paper draws on comments from the prisoners who participated in the program and the yoga teacher, as well as the perspectives of a prison psychologist and the lead author, both of whom also participated in the program. The paper reflects on the lessons learnt from developing and delivering a prison yoga program and advocates for the expansion of such programs in Australian prisons.

Item Type: Article
Authors/Creators:Hopkins, A and Bartels, L and Oxman, L
Keywords: Australian corrective services, meditation, prison, yoga
Journal or Publication Title: International Journal for Crime, Justice and Social Democracy
Publisher: Queensland University of Technology
ISSN: 2202-7998
DOI / ID Number:
Copyright Information:

© The Author(s) 2019. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) License, ( As an open access journal, articles are free to use with proper attribution.

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