First Prison Program

Montreal, 27 August 2007 – The Art of Living Foundation launched it's Canadian Prison Program in August,2007, at the St. Lawrence Valley Correctional and Treatment Centre in Brockville, Ontario, where 21 residents participated in the first Prison Program offered in Canada.

Dr. Colin Cameron, the residents' physician who brought the privately-funded pilot project into the prison, is currently running an evaluation of the Program. "We're kind of a unique facility.we have a lot of front- line healthcare professionals, and we're affiliated with an academic hospital, so we are able to do program evaluation," Cameron said.

"It was kind of neat to see -- they're continuing to do this, as a group, even after the course is over," Cameron said four days after the program ended." and it was their initiative"

The Art of Living Prison Program was developed by world renown humanitarian H. H. Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar with the underlying principle that every culprit is himself/herself a victim of their circumstances. It is customized for application within high stress environments like prisons and juvenile detention centers. The Program brings effective solutions to breaking the cycles of violence and tackling escalating global crime rates.

The Prison Program was formally launched in America, in 1992, at the Barnstable County (MA) House of Correction in U.S. By 1996, the Program was already being supported by 55 correctional facilities in 9 states, reaching out to thousands of inmates and teens.

Since then, it has reached out, touched and transformed the lives of over 120,000 inmates in incarceration facilities the world over including the Al Wathba Women's Prison in Dubai, a first for the Arab world. The nation's judicial system of Denmark also recognizes the effectiveness of the courses, and instead of sending juvenile offenders to prison, courts now order them to undergo the Art of Living Prison (Juvenile) Program.

The Art of Living Foundation is the largest volunteer-based Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) in the world. The Foundation's service projects, programs on yoga, meditation and stress elimination have benefited over 20 million people representing all walks of life, religions, cultures and traditions.

It's founder H.H. Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar will be in Toronto, September 20– 23, 2007, and will lead 4 public event sessions on the ancient science of the breath.

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