Mindfulness into prisons

Prison. An appropriate time to change stereotypes and expand awareness? Let’s try it!

Mindfulness can help a person find inner strength, and teaches people to better understand their emotions and the emotions of others.

We see mindfulness as an appropriate means to develop awareness of one’s own personality and to improve the reintegration of former prisoners back into society.

Mindfulness at Ostrov Prison 2018

"It’s great to know that there are people outside who understand and care that prisoners are also people."
"This programme has helped me control my anger. I thank you for the effort and patience you showed in working with me."
"The programme helped me to communicate with others around me and to observe emotions."
"I get angry less often now that I understand that I don’t actually have to."
Prisoners at Vinařice prison and a graduates of the Mindfulness course.

Did you know?

  • that keeping a single person in prison for one month costs the state budget around CZK 40,000?
  • that there are over 20,000 convicted prisoners in the Czech Republic?
  • that there is a high level of recidivism in prisoners who do not work on themselves?
  • that each rescued prisoner represents savings of up to CZK 500,000 a year for the state budget?
  • that the mindfulness programme has been in operation in selected prisons in the USA since the 1980s?

How we develop mindfulness in prisons

  1. We contact social workers and the prison management to establish whether they are interested in developing mindfulness.
  2. We arrange an introductory familiarisation lesson for prison employees at the prison itself.
  3. The mindfulness course for prison employees lasts eight weeks.
  4. We run eight-week mindfulness courses for prison inmates. Cooperation with prison social workers means the inmates have the opportunity to develop their mindfulness skills daily throughout the course.
  5. We then assess both courses and arrange options for continuation.

Support prisoners to return to society

Please participate in this project with us. You can support this project by sending any donation to our transparent account: 2500914385/2010 or through a simple on-line payment below.


Thank you for your support!

Where we help?

Mindfulness at Ostrov Prison

We ran two mindfulness courses at Ostrov Prison in the spring of 2018.
The courses were led by instructor Kateřina Macháčková.

The first course was for 13 prison employees (psychologists, social workers, therapists) and the second for 13 inmates.

Mindfulness at Ostrov Prison 2018

Mindfulness at Liberec Prison

In the autumn of 2017, we ran an MBSR (Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction) course at Liberec Prison.
This course was run by mindfulness instructor Jaroslav Chýle.

The course was attended by 12 inmates and 2 therapists from the prison.

Mindfulness at Liberec Prison 2017

Mindfulness at Vinařice Prison

In 2016 and 2017, we held two eight-week mindfulness courses at Vinařice prison and one at Liberec remand prison.
This course was run by mindfulness instructor Jan Burian.

The course was attended by 24 inmates and 2 therapists from the prison.

Mindfulness at Vinařice Prison 2016

Course assessment by the participants

The participants rate the courses positively. They list the main benefits as:

  • they act less impetuously – they now take a deep breath before acting
  • they are calmer and more relaxed
  • they are more able to enjoy pleasant moments
  • they manage their emotions better, especially aggression
  • they plan more for the future and are more successful in following their plans through
  • they put aside some time every day to focus on peace of mind and order their thoughts
  • they sleep better
  • they are more patient
  • they are better able to listen

Mindfulness at Ostrov Prison 2018

Mindfulness at Ostrov Prison 2018 - inmates are walking to regular mindfulness course.