Undergraduate Honors Theses

Thesis Defended

Spring 2017

Document Type

Thesis

Type of Thesis

Departmental Honors

Department

Sociology

First Advisor

Lori Hunter

Abstract

While mindfulness and yoga practices are increasingly prevalent as rehabilitative interventions for prisoners and vulnerable populations, there remains a dearth of studies conducted on the effects of these practices on incarcerated individuals. The research presented here is a case study of the Prison Yoga Project (http://prisonyoga.org/), a prison-based yoga intervention program which originated in San Quentin Prison in Marin County, California, and which offers classes to inmates in prisons and jails across the country. The primary objective of this study is to examine perceived impacts of this prison-based yoga intervention among released inmates. This research is evaluative in nature, seeking to determine what, if any, effect the Prison Yoga Project has on its participants. The substantive value of this study is in its unique perception-based insight from participants of a prison yoga intervention, and its findings which are offered to the body of literature on mindfulness interventions among prisoners and the potential effects of such interventions. In summary, former prisoners indicated that the Prison Yoga Project facilitated the following outcomes: positive psychological impact resulting in reduced depression and anxiety, a reduction of aggressive tendencies, a reduction of physical ailments including addictive behaviors, and an increase in social participation and dedication to community.

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Criminology Commons

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