“Inhale shoulders come in and up,” said San Leandro resident Beth Zygielbaum to a room of people on yoga mats. This is a unique yoga class. It’s being taught at an East Bay police department. Cops in child’s pose. “We have a lot of closet yoga people here that won’t admit it,” laughed Chief Jeff Tudor, San Leandro Police Department. Fed-up with national news reports of racial disparities in policing and cases of excessive force Zygielbaum simply called her local police chief. “I was just calling to find out what the heck was going on. I was calling as a concerned citizen,” she explained. The chief called her back right... Learn More
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