But a tailored mindfulness program may negate the negative impact of imprisonment. A just-published study finds significant declines in several key areas of cognitive functioning among teenage boys who are doing time. Given that most prisoners eventually return to society, and ex-cons with poor reasoning ability and/or impulse control are unlikely to go straight, this could have widespread negative effects. ——————————————- “This study provides even more support for the use of alternative methods of punishment, such as drug courts and restorative justice courts,” the researchers write. “Keeping youth out of the system, and protecting them when they are most emotionally and cognitively susceptible to the negative effects of incarceration, may well be... Learn More
“No,” I replied almost 20 years ago, when the managing partner asked me to arrange an eight-week mindfulness training program for our lawyers. I was a litigator and the partner in charge of attorney training at a large Boston law firm, and I did not want my colleagues to think we were crazy. Fortunately, my forward-thinking managing partner won this standoff, and over 75 partners and associates had an opportunity to learn and practice mindfulness together. Fast forward to 2017, and you will find a growing number of law firms turning to mindfulness training as a foundation for professional excellence. My original “No” is now an emphatic “YES” as I... Learn More
The judge has helpful advice for lawyers on the importance of maintaining their well-being and setting boundaries. The question that I struggle with on a daily basis is how do I get everything that I need to get done in the day done well and practice self-care? It’s constantly, for me, looking ahead and saying “What can I get done that is truly important? What can I either delegate or cut out in order to carve time?” We all know if we don’t put it on the calendar, it’s not going to get done. Click here to continue reading this article by Jeena Cho in Above the Law.
Four Washington state prison inmates are making history by becoming the first inmates certified to teach Path of Freedom, an emotional intelligence program based on mindfulness meditation. As certified trainers the four are starting to teach the 12-week curriculum to other men behind bars. The Path of Freedom program was developed by the Massachusetts-based Prison Mindfulness Institute. These enthusiastic and dedicated men are venturing into uncharted territory. Path of Freedom has been taken into prisons across the U.S. and Europe for many years, but only by outside volunteers who pay for and complete a six-week online training course. Click here to continue reading this article by Tenzin Gache for Northwest Dharma Association.
Far too often society focuses on the lives of those behind bars, and rarely on those who work inside correctional facilities. Prison is a tough place not only for inmates, but also for those who dedicate their lives to working in correctional facilities. Correctional officers (COs) and other corrections professionals face numerous health risks due to the high stress nature of their jobs and environments, risks than can impact their families as well. The high stress working conditions in corrections can lead to post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) among COs – at a rate much higher than for people in other careers. The rate of PTSD and suicide among correctional officers... Learn More
“When repeatedly exposed to people who are overdosing, especially those who have repeated overdoses, we’re facing cynicism, and some of the older law enforcement officers expressed a kind of detachment from both work and personal lives,” Brumage said. “They just became so cynical over time. They weren’t as effective as they could have been — either professionally or personally.” Click here to read the full article by Erin Beck in the Charleston Gazette-Mail.
…Senior Cpl. Joshua Merkel, the class’s defensive-tactics instructor, talked to the recruits about how their bodies might respond to stressful situations. “When stress and adrenaline hit, we get tunnel vision, where our scope of vision narrows, and we get auditory exclusion, where we don’t hear as well,” he explained. He worked with them on deep breathing, yoga and other techniques for tuning into their environment. “From Day 1, I asked them to notice all the subtle things, like people’s energies and their body language,” Merkel said, including “observing sounds — not just hearing them but observing what things sound like — and what you smell.” Click here to read the... Learn More
We join so many others in mourning the tragic loss of a great Dharma teacher and friend to so many. Cheri Maples made unique contributions to mindful justice field, as a former police captain and ordained teacher in Thich Nhat Hanh’s lineage, who trained numerous law enforcement and other public safety professionals in mindfulness through her organization, the Center for Mindfulness & Justice. Cheri and her work are irreplaceable, and at the same time she has opened the way for many to follow in her footsteps bringing the healing and transformative power of mindfulness and compassion to our public safety professionals. Fleet Maull, PhD, Founder Center for Mindfulness in Corrections &... Learn More
Illawarra law firm RMB Lawyers is introducing a new initiative to improve the mental health and wellbeing of its lawyers. The century old business with a presence in Wollongong, the Southern Highlands, Shoalhaven and Sydney knows that in the fast-paced world of law dealing with high stakes and tackling heavy workloads can have a significant impact on lawyer’s mental wellbeing. Industry statistics reveal that one-in-three lawyers will suffer some form of stress, depression, anxiety or burnout. RMB Lawyers is tackling the issue head on by ensuring a supportive workplace environment. It is incorporating a new initiative designed to assist lawyers in managing the mental impact the profession can have. In fact RMB is... Learn More