Fresh Air from WHYY, March 26, 2009 · Dr. Michael Grodin discusses his experiences treating Tibetan monks who suffer from post traumatic stress disorder. Many of the monks were imprisoned or tortured because of their resistance to the Chinese presence in Tibet, and now some of them experience "flashbacks" while meditating.
Grodin hypothesizes that meditation may reduce the brain's ability to inhibit… Continue
All Things Considered, March 29, 2009 · Sen. Jim Webb introduced legislation last week establishing a blue-ribbon commission to retool the nation's prison system. The Virginia Democrat talks to host Jacki Lyden about the bill and why he feels the criminal justice system has to change.
One of the inmates in our prison dharma program (MIND WITHOUT BORDERS, Nalandabodhi) recently wrote me that he feared he had a serious medical condition and was prepared to face death. He had lost sensation from the knees down for over a month and had asked to see the doctor twice to no avail. A neurologist in our NYC sangha suggested that one of the causes could be vitamin B deficiency and this seems to have been correct. This young man, age 32, wrote again to report the doctor had finally… Continue
http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2009/03/30/090330fa_fact_gawande This is the link to an essay by Dr. Atul Gwande about the ways in which solitary confinement is like torture. I found it troubling, informative, serious.
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Here in Boulder, we work a lot with the pain meditations of Shinzen Young in our inside prison programs. Prisoners report that these practices are very helpful for them dealing with the high levels of emotional and physical pain of life in prison. Here is a link to an article by Shinzen about working with discomfort in meditation.
"Is there something else we can… Continue
One in every 31 American adults was in prison or on probation or parole in 2007.
By David Crary
The Associated Press
NEW YORK — The number of people on parole and probation across the U.S. has surged past 5 million, according to a new report that says financially struggling states can save money in the long run by investing in better supervision of these offenders.