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Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Dancing in Jail

Inmates Dancing at Cebu Prison, Philippines

Several of the major international news services (BBC, CNN) have reported recently that a jail in the Philippines in Cebu, has mandated that prisoners dance on a daily basis. According to the information, many of the inmates are lifers for any number of violent crimes, and yet, since the inception of this program, approximately a year ago, no violence has taken place in the prison.

This makes me think of other programs, such as penal rehabilitation with tai-chi, or the benefits of yoga for prison inmates, or the use of EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques) in the New Zealand prison system (see previous posts on EFT) because there does seem to be some reason to believe that using the body in some expressive fashion is of use in promoting more positive behavior with prisoners in different countries.

I haven't done an exhaustive study of the subject, nor have I looked at all of the different techniques that are being used across the globe by these few, innovative, out-of-the-box thinking wardens who are either promoting this, or allowing it, but clearly, it is having a positive effect on inmates in those institutions where these methods are being implemented, and certainly would warrant a closer look by the powers that be that determine the type of interventions and preventive programs that take place in prisons.

We live in changing times, and if we are looking at quantum physics that tell us that the universe is made up of non-stuff, and if we are realizing that our very DNA can change depending on what we say, do, feel, and think (see my Sept. 2005 and May 2006 Newsletters), then does it not make sense that we look at new ways of dealing with the prison population?

If it ain't broke, don't fix it...but in this case it has always been broke, so we need to fix it.



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