Expand your vision and see that inside every culprit is a victim crying for help. If you heal the victim, you will eliminate crime from the planet." - Sri Sri Ravi Shankar
Addressing the Victim in Every Culprit
Sri Sri began the Prison Program in 1990, to provide prisoners with an opportunity to integrate into the mainstream society and heal themselves. The program features self development workshops with an emphasis on human values, microfinance incentives and vocational training programs. The project also features programs for law enforcement officials.
In a study of 604 participants of the self-development segment of the Prison Program at the Taipei Tu-Chen Detention Center and the Taichung Detention Center in Taiwan, more than half of the participants reported significant reduction in negative emotions such as anger, depression, fear, and insomnia.
The Prison program has benefited 3,50,000 prison inmates.
The prisoner rehabilitation program was initiated in 1999 in Tihar Jail, home to some of India's most notorious criminals. The program is active in eight of the 17 jails in Tihar, and more than 30,000 inmates have participated in the programs.
In New Zealand, the program was launched in partnership with the Juvenile Justice department. In Malawi, the program saw amazing results at the Chasili prison and in the United Arab Emirates, the Al Wathba women's prison welcomed the program. In a landmark decision in Denmark, the country's judicial system ordered that instead of sending juvenile offenders to prison, they should undergo the Art of Living prison program. In Fiji, Kosovo, and in Iraq, the program has been launched in all prisons in the region, and the Taiwan After-Care Association recognized the Foundation's efforts in 2005.
Recently, the Foundation introduced the SRIJAN (Social Rehabilitation of Inmates in Jail and Aiding the Needy) initiative. SRIJAN offers inmates with a variety of opportunities such as theatre, music and dance workshops, and personality development. The initiative also offers vocational training in commercial arts, costume jewellery, fashion technology, and weaving.
Three SRIJAN workshops were recently held in New Delhi, India, where inmates were trained to produce items such as office stationary, gift boxes and lampshades. The Foundation works with local NGOs and partners to market these handicrafts in India and abroad. All proceeds go to the craftsmen, thus making them economically independent.
- Inmate, Pollsmoor Prison, Cape Town, South Africa
- G.M. Kolmikov, Head of Military Headquarters, Ministry of Domestic Affairs, Russia
- Minor Challenger Memorial Youth Center, Los Angeles, USA
- Ashok Choudhary, State Minister, Home (Jail) Dept., Bihar
- Kiran Bedi, former Inspector General Prisons, Tihar Jail, former Joint Commissioner of Police
- Ex Terrorist, Udhampur Jail, Jammu & Kashmir, India
- Niloufer, Byculla Jail, Mumbai, India
- Inmate, Beur Jail, Bihar, India