Incarceration can take a severe toll on offenders' mental health, especially in young people. The project aimed to improve young offenders' well-being and restore hope and positivity towards the future, with a view to reducing the likelihood of reoffending. Classes included breath-focussed stretches and meditation sensitively tailored to participants needs.
The objectives of this project were to:
- Establish five prison yoga and meditation classes for youth
- Nurture seven existing classes
- Extend letter-writing support to 200 young people
- Provide 224 books and CDs as practical aids, and a newsletter for inspiration and sense of community
Six months into the project, 172 yoga classes had been delivered in 88 prisons and secure establishments in the UK. Yoga classes for young offenders are running at Feltham, Hydebank Wood, Portland and Werrington Young Offender Institutions.
As well as classes, the charity provides counselling through correspondence. 6,310 offenders and 220 ex-offenders have benefited from this additional service.
The charity has also published several books specifically tailored to literacy levels and how much the offender enjoys reading. The books are provided free of charge to all offenders who request them.
"I feel like a different person. I wish I had known about this when I was on the outside. Now I can honestly say I will never come to prison again.” Young Offender