Like Croatia, and the rest of Eastern Europe in the same region, the Kosovo area of the Balkans has been an embattled area throughout history for almost of 2000 years. The most recent conﬂict in Kosovo ended in June 1999, leaving behind over 700,000 prisoners, ex-prisoners, and those who’ve been through gruelling police interrogations.
The Prison Program in Kosovo began in November 2004, with a pilot program at Lipljan prison. Since then, hundreds of prison staff and prisoners have undergone the program, every week. Reaching out to all ethnicities – Serbs, Albanians, Romas – the programs have brought about such positive transformations that the Department of Justice in Kosovo has opened the door to the Prison Program in all of Kosovo’s prisons.
“I graduated from the Faculty of Economics in Pristina, and I never dreamt that I would end up in prison one day. I was beaten, and abused by my husband for years. He found another woman, but he kept coming to me. He would take a gun, and beat me with it, until I started to bleed. One day I killed him with the same gun that he used to beat me with. I am a mother of 7 children, and I have been in prison for more than one year. I cry every day because I cannot bear the pain of not being with my children. After taking the Prison Program, I called my parents immediately to tell them how much it has helped me. I feel less pain in my heart, and I feel much stronger, and capable of accepting the present moment. I do the exercises in my cell regularly, and I have inspired groups of women prisoners to take the course, and join me in regular practice.” - G. Sh. Woman prisoner
“I personally believe that the Art of Living training is necessary for my police ofﬁcers, I am happy that almost 100 of them have already taken part in it. I also joined, and I’ve found that breathing techniques have helped me feel a lot better.”