By RACHEL PURDY, Bay City News Service
June 14, 2011
In a portable classroom behind a set of bleachers lined with inmates cheering for the San Quentin Giants, James Fox speaks in a hushed, soothing voice to a group of 10 "lifers" in his weekly hatha yoga class.
"Close your eyes, and free your mind of thought," Fox tells his students amid the din of the prison baseball game outside.
Sitting cross-legged with the word "PRISONER" printed on the side of his denim pants, Keith Augustine starts to make his escape.
Click here to read "San Quentin Inmates Find Escape in Yoga Rehab Class"
Parents who forgave their daughter's killer: It 'frees us'
After Conor McBride admitted to killing his longtime girlfriend, Ann Margaret Grosmaire, Grosmaire's parents made a remarkable decision to try a concept called restorative justice in which both families, including Conor, sat face to face as part of a healing process. NBC's Mark Potter reports and both sets of parents talk about the meeting.
Click here to watch, Parents who forgave their daughter's killer: It 'frees us'
A concept called “restorative justice” considers harm done and strives for agreement from all concerned — the victims, the offender and the community — on making amends. And it allows victims, who often feel shut out of the prosecutorial process, a way to be heard and participate.
Click here to read the New York Times article, Can Forgiveness Play a Role in Criminal Justice?
The ancient art of yoga, a physical, spiritual and mental practice whose benefits have been promoted as improving relaxation, has found an unlikely home: prisons.
When many states have cut their wellness and education programs for inmates, citing cost and political pressure, some wardens looking for a low-cost, low-risk way for inmates to reflect on their crimes, improve their fitness and cope with the stress of overcrowded prison life are turning toward yoga.
The number of yoga programs is not officially tracked, but many wardens said they were interested in pursuing them. Typically programs start informally, a hodgepodge of volunteer efforts by instructors and correctional facilities. At least 20 prisons now offer yoga through the Prison Yoga Project, a program that began in California 12 years ago when its founder, James Fox, began teaching yoga to at-risk youth. Mr. Fox holds trainings for yoga teachers and said he has sent more than 7,000 copies of his manual to inmates to practice yoga on their own.
A Series of Poses for Fitness, Inside and Out