Monday, September 19, 2016

"Murder, Mayhem, and MEDITATION" (video)

Dhr. Seven, Amber Larson, CC Liu, Wisdom Quarterly; VICE News; DLFTV; Dhamma Brothers
How are we supposed to meditate if the guards keep making that noise to F with us?
What life is really like for women in the growing prison-industrial complex (Daily Mail)
Breathe in, breathe out. Not having been, they come to be; once having been, they cease. When this is, that arises. When that is not, that does not arise. Damn biased, bogus judge...

The United States of America is locking up more people than any other nation on earth. Home to just 5 percent of the world's total population, the USA houses more than 20 percent of the world's prisoners.

In the last three decades -- fueled in large part by a bogus national drug policy (aimed at mass incarceration to drive up drug prices for the benefit of bankers and militarized police at the expense of taxpayers) as well as legislation that backfires like Three Strikes laws -- the U.S. has imprisoned even more citizens.

There are now more people in prisons, local jails, federal penitentiaries, and private "correctional" facilities than Stalin put in Russian gulags.

New court rulings have declared overcrowded prisons to be unconstitutional, and the sheer cost of incarceration is forcing prisons to let prisoners back out on the streets.

VICE News was granted rare access to go inside one of the most maximum-security prisons in the country, a place that's on the frontline of what could be a sea change in prison policy.

( A meditation-based rehabilitation program offered by the David Lynch Foundation has been utilized in dozens of prisons throughout the US and worldwide over the past 30 years. Research on meditating inmates at San Quentin and Folsom prisons in California and Walpole Prison in Massachusetts has found transcendental meditation (TM) practice markedly reduces rule infractions and dramatically reduces recidivism rates by as much as 50 percent. This 5-minute documentary shows how the effects of TM are transforming the lives of inmates, guards, and staff of a medium-security prison in Oregon.

Salinas Valley State Prison is home to America's most powerful prison gangs including the white supremacist Aryan Brotherhood and Mexican Mafia. It's a place that's projected to have more than 700 sexual and/or assaults this year.

In an institution that houses the alleged "worst of the worst," we see how one maverick warden is trying to turn the system around by rehabilitating murderers before they get returned to the streets.
Serving time in prison is not supposed to be pleasant. Nor, however, is it supposed to include being raped by fellow prisoners or staff, beaten by guards for the slightest provocation, driven mad by long-term solitary confinement, or killed off by medical neglect. These are the fates of thousands of prisoners every year -- men, women, and children housed in lockups that give Gitmo [Guantanamo Bay] and Abu Ghraib [US torture prison] a run for their money. More

"Punishment" does not reform anyone, nor does warehousing. According to the report of the Reentry Policy Council "Charting the Safe and Successful Return of Prisoners to the Community," two million Americans are serving time in our prison-industrial complex; 50% of the inmates are in for violent crimes; about 67% of the inmates released from prison are re-arrested within three years; this recidivism rate has not improved over the past 30 years; prisoners return to society more hardened and more willing to commit crimes than before. What is the David Lynch Foundation (DLF) doing about it? See the 5-minute video above.
    Insight on the Inside
    And I thought doing ten days at a Goenka retreat was impossible, this BS never ends!

    As we do to "enemies," we do to our citizens.
    (AC) "The Dhamma Brothers" is a 2007 documentary about a prison meditation program at Donaldson Correctional Facility near Bessemer, Alabama. It follows four inmates, all convicted of murder, and includes interviews with guards, prison officials, local residents, and other inmates with reenactments of their crimes.

    Meditation Behind Bars
    Directed by Jenny Phillips, a cultural anthropologist and psychotherapist, Andrew Kukura, a documentary filmmaker, and Anne Marie Stein, a film-school administrator. In 2008 Phillips released Letters from the Dhamma Brothers: Meditation Behind Bars, a book based on follow-up letters with the inmates. "The Dhamma Brothers" has been compared with another documentary, "Doing Time, Doing Vipassana" (1997), which documented a large scale meditation program at Tihar Prisons in India with over a thousand inmates using the same meditation retreat format (Goenka-style).

    The Meditation Program
    When I'm standing behind bars instead of in front of them, then I'll meditate. (Disgraced L.A. Sheriff Lee Baca indicted on serious felonies faces 20 years of payback in prison).
    Stripes, fashion statement or social statement?
    Director Jenny Phillips was largely responsible for the insight meditation movement program's inception at the prison. Phillips had previously studied prison culture in Massachusetts.

    In 1999, she heard that prisoners at Donaldson were practicing meditation and she then organized the first ten-day intensive Goenka retreat there in January 2002. Phillips believes that was the first time a ten-day retreat had been held in a United States maximum-security prison such as Donaldson. Previous US courses had been in county jails.

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