Researchers from the Departments of Sociology and Criminal Justice at Old Dominion University at Norfolk, Virginia, examined the impact of a structured meditation program intervention on female detainees, comparing an experimental group and a control group for medical symptoms, emotions, and behaviors before and after the intervention.

A 2 1/2-hour meditation session was held once a week for 7 weeks. Study participants completed a medical symptoms checklist before the program began and after it ended.

At the post-test period, the experimental group experienced fewer sleeping difficulties, less desire to throw things or hit people, and less nail or cuticle biting; additionally, they were more hopeful about their future; and felt less guilt.

Meditation was beneficial for this population and may be a cost-effective tool for inmates and administrators. Meditation effects, especially among inmates, merit further research attention.

Citation: Sumter MT, Monk-Turner E, Turner C.  The benefits of meditation practice in the correctional settingJournal of Correctional Health Care. 2009 Jan; 15 (1): pages 47-57. [email protected]