Maximum security takes on new meaning as prisons go from violence to peace in Argentina
“I am learning to be a better person. I welcome the change in me and I will not ever return to a place like this. I now see things differently, which is on track,” shares Chuky, Unit 21, Bell in Argentina.He belongs to a group of people who have committed certain crimes in life and now live in absolute isolation. Prone to violent tendencies, they are considered ‘unrecoverable’ by the state. Imagine this groupnow undergoing an intense meditation course, practicing yoga, and showing keenness to learn writing, music and theatre.
When this is over, I hope to receive help to learn to
overcome mistakes. Thanks for teaching me the right path of
life. I hope it can continue to help many more people so we can
achieve great harmony and peace for all. Live the present
valuable life and be happy. I'm very grateful, thank you very much."
A participant shares
From the language of fists to peace
This change was brought about by a group of Prison SMART instructors who believed they could make a difference: they had resolvedto reduce the internal violence in the maximum securityprisons.And testimony to the success of the Prison SMART program is the psychological recovery and decline in violence among the participants. As Chuky shares, “The Art of Living taught me to change my way of looking at others and have peace in my heart.”
This peace is contagious. As the inmates experience come to terms with their past actions, they are naturally reaching out to others and helping each other in the process of healing. The Prison SMART instructors support the participants continuously and help implement a real system of social reintegration. Recently, the group underwent the first advanced meditation program for prison inmates in Argentina.
The transformation experienced by this group has been reflected in many prison units.More than half the prison population has already completed the Prison Smart course –totaling more than 3,000 inmates. The transformation has promoted the Argentine Federal Penitentiary Serviceto expresssupport for The Art of Living PrisonSMART program. The Service would like to all the stress-relief workshops to be conducted for inmates across all the country’s prisons.