1. “Oxford Languages and Google-English.” Oxford Languages, (n.d). Web 2 November. 2021.

Background: This is not a scholarly, peer-reviewed article, I found this page from a simple google search of the definition of recidivism. However, Oxford Languages is a very esteemed website and a trusted establishment because that is the dictionary where we get most of the definitions for our English words.

How I used it: I used the site to look up the exact definition of recidivism, in case any readers were unsure of the meaning. It is the main point of my essay and wanted all of the readers to be on the same page with me, as well as to reinforce the definition argument. I used the definition in my essay twice in total because I really wanted the point that the readers were not getting reconvicted to stick with the audience.

2. G G Gaes. “Recidivism Among Federal Offenders.” US Department of Justice, 1986. Web 2 November. 2021.

Background: This is a very credible source because it is public record from the US Department of Justice. While it may be more dated than some of my other sources, it provides a lot of charts/graphs for data on recidivism over the years in the US.

How I used it: The first part of my paper was the diefinition argument and I wanted to stick with defining recidivism and how yoga can effect this in the United States. It was until I reached my rebuttal and causal arguments that I wanted to expand the research more to prisons not in the USA. I think this site gave me some good data to start with to get the audience in the right mindset that recidivism rates fluctuate all the time. This depends on a multitude of factors, but this includes the living conditions and different prison organizations that were established around the 1970’s, when the outlook on prisoners sort of started to shift.

3. Dragana Derlic. “A Systematic Review of Literature: Alternative Offender Rehabilitation—Prison Yoga, Mindfulness, and Meditation.” Sage Journals. Journal of Correctional Health, 15 September. 2020. Web 25 October. 2021.

Background: This article is more of a written gathering of ideas and not so much a formal study. It gives me background knowledge and a lot of new terms and quotes to use in my paper. It is more spiritual than the other sources and focuses on the well-being of the inmates. The main idea is that prisoners will not act out as much and will “calm down” if given the right healthcare and lifestyle. It favors the idea that these alternative methods to the standard prison policies are much more effective at creating better mental statuses and social connections, which are required to keep the prisoners from going back to their violent ways.

How I used it: I used this source to show how some people automatically think that all prisoners are violent by nature, but this is not always the case. Derlic helps me show how it’s life in prison itself and the routines the prisoners go through that weighs down on their spirit and eats at away at their hope. This source helped me demonstrate how yoga and meditation can lift them up by balancing their minds and bodies, as well as giving them an outlet to counteract any possible anger at the world.

4. Elizabeth Duncombe, Dawna Komorsky, Evaon Wong-Kim, and Winston M Turner. “Free Inside: A Program to Help Inmates Cope with Life in Prison at Maui Community Correctional Center.” ResearchGate. California Journal of Health Promotion, December. 2005. Web 2 November. 2021.

Background: This is a study done with prisoners at the Maui Community Correctional Center, or MCCC, in Hawaii. Free Inside is a twelve-week program with frequent classes of yoga, meditation, and chi gung. The practices lasted an hour each and it was found that was an association with participation and self-esteem, compassion, and hope. This article explains how inmates are just as human as anybody and need physical and mental stimulation in order to find peace, reach balance, and ultimately succeed. The conclusions were that the authors recommend more programs like Free Inside be introduced to help the rehabilitation process for inmates.

How I used it: This article was geared more towards the psychological parts of yoga and meditation. I didn’t use a lot of the data because my essay doesn’t incorporate chi gung. I felt that this would throw off the focus of my paper because the participants practiced it in every class, and the benefits of chi gung versus those of strictly yoga may be different. However, I dd incorporate a good quote from the author about the eight basic principles that inmates need in order to adjust to prison life. They mostly have to do with emotional and social support, which makes sense and shows how inmates can still be kind and compassionate beings. I know this article’s primary focus was on prisoners’’ entry into jail, and not what they do after they leave, but it did help me show how important these requirements are and how yoga can be this filler and be the solution to a happier inmate. It was important to use a quote like this early on to establish the clear psychological connection between the healthy brain and yoga.

5. Anis Sfendla, Petter Malmström, Sara Torstensson, and Nóra Kerekes . “Yoga Practice Reduces the Psychological Distress Levels of Prison Inmates.” NCBI. Fronteirs in Psychiatry, 3 September. 2018. Web 2 November. 2021

Background: This study consisted of 152 participants chosen randomly that practiced yoga classes over a period of ten weeks to directly study its effect on their mental health. There were a series of tests done before and after the experiment, including the Brief Symptom Inventory (BSI). It was observed that yoga, as compared to the free—choice physical activity control group, significantly decreased the levels of psychological distress. Some specific symptoms that were eased are “suspicious and fearful thoughts about losing autonomy, memory problems, difficulty in making decisions, trouble concentrating, obsessive thought, and perception of bodily dysfunction.”

How I used it: I used the author’s words to show the direct influence yoga has on brain activity, and to show how yoga is powerful enough to even cure some symptoms of mental illnesses such as schizophrenia. If the audience knows yoga can improve psychotic symptoms in the mentally ill, it’s way easier to believe that it can lessen the chance a prisoner will recommit a crime. I also pointed to the fact that there a lot of prisoners with mental health issues, either those who entered the prisons with pre-existing illnesses, or those who obtained one over the course of their sentence. This article was very valuable to me because it helped put things into perspective of how big of a change yoga potentially can make.

6. Shaked Kovalsky, Badi Hasisi, Noam Haviv, and Ety Elisha. “Can Yoga Overcome Criminality? The Impact of Yoga on Recidivism in Israeli Prisons.” PubMed. National Library of Medicine, 14 April. 2020. Web 25 October. 2021.

Background: This source covers a study done at the Israeli Prison Service on released prisoners. They participated in group yoga classes during their sentences and were studied over 5 years to log the recidivism rates. There was also a control group who did not practice any yoga in their jail times that was chosen carefully through a score matching system. When the two groups were compared it showed a lower recidivism rate in the first group. While it said further study was needed, the contributors of this paper concluded by recommending more types of alternative practices to assist in the rehabilitation process of inmates. The great thing about this article is that it has a lot of data and solid facts.

How I used it: I used this source to transition from my definition argument to my rebuttal argument. This was done by showing one study done internationally, in this case Israel, to help the audience understand that this is an important topic that’s being practiced and studied all over the world, not just as a trial in the US. Also, I used the data and percentages to show the exact findings of the research to get in touch with the analytical side of my audience. This paper also helped prove how I knew what I was talking about and conducted good research, because it is a very credible source. The study used a “propensity-score matching system,” and  a follow-up of more than five years, so the readers know the data, and therefore my conclusions, are legitimate.

7. Amy C. Bilderbeck, Miguel FariasInti, A. Brazil, Sharon Jakobowitz, Catherine Wikholm. “Participation in a 10-week course of yoga improves behavioural control and decreases psychological distress in a prison population”. Elsevier. Journal of Psychiatric research,  18 June. 2013. Web. 9 December. 2021

Background: Another study was done with yoga in prisons but this one was only a 10-week course with classes once a week and around 100 volunteers (including the control group) from different British institutions. Unlike the other study, the researchers did not continue the experiment for 5 years after to monitor rates of recidivism, they simply logged the inmates’ mood and psychological data like stress levels, cognitive behavior, and more. It was found that the classes lowered the stress and tendency to act irrationally in the participants significantly. This article might not have to do with the lowering of recidivism over time but there are a lot of psychological facts to back up any points I make.

How I used it: This source was helpful to me because the sample size was good and it laid out the details of how everyone was chosen at random from seven different prisons in the UK. Again, this helped me to show that prisoners of any background or location can benefit from practicing yoga, and if it works everywhere else it would work in the United States too. The improvement seen with the cognitive behavioral task really helped me show the effect yoga has on the brain and how it can help stabilize how the prisoners act. Even if it didn’t directly record the recidivism rates, this article was still very valuable in my paper.

8. Anthony Hopkins, Lorana Bartels, Lisa Oxman. “Lessons in Flexibility: Introducing a Yoga Program in an Australian Prison”. Proquest. Crime Justice Journal, 2019. Web 9 December. 2021.

Background: This study deals with a pilot yoga program for prisoners in the Alexander Maconochie Centre in the Australian Capital Territory (ACT). The author teamed up with the ACT, the yoga teacher, and a psychologist who overlooked the whole experiment. Therefore this article has a little bit of everything I’m looking for- the prisons’ policies and the details of this study, the psychology behind it, and the spirituality factor which can all give me great quotes and phrases. The author and the psychologist both themselves participated in the program and gave first hand feedback of the positions, processes, exercises, etc. The article’s conclusion advocates for more alternative programs like this in prisons in Australia and elsewhere. A drawback from this study is that the sample size was only 8 which might leave some room for interpretation of error.

How I used it: The authors and researches worked as a team with the Yoga Foundation and ACT Services (Australian Capitol Territory). This showed that the study was credible and well-conducted. Again, it diminished the strength of the main rebuttal argument that yoga in prisons is just a whimsical idea and no actual, esteemed prisons throughout the world would take it seriously. The population that was studied was a group of very tough individuals. Of course these kinds of people are found all over in prisons, but these were specifically some of the more serious inmates in all of Australia, so there was no messing around when it came to the sample. Nevertheless, this source helped me proved how yoga and meditation can influence anyone because it is a psychological process that calms the mind and body, even if you are a beginner. The sample size did not turn out to be much of a roadblock because I didn’t go that deep into the details of the study. The procedures were not discussed because I felt there were other studies with much more reliable data that I utilized instead.

9. Mar Griera. “Yoga in Penitentiary Settings: Transcendence, Spirituality, and Self-Improvement”. Proquest. Springer Science+Business Media, 29 July. 2016. Web 14 December. 2021.

Background: This study is a multiple case study with the goal of better understanding the effects of yoga from a psychological standpoint as it is practiced by many people around the world but not yet fully understood as a rehabilitation method. This study focuses on the religious and meditative aspects instead of the physical benefits of the movements. It was said that yoga allowed the inmates to “transcend their everyday prison lives”. It used data from three different experiments in Barcelona penitentiaries. Again, the results were not based on recidivism but more so dealt with the changes in the inmates’ mindsets and spirituality. Something I like about this article is that it directly compares different prison policies around the world and the qualities of lifestyle. It discusses the Spanish constitution and prison methods which support mental and social growth and rehabilitation, as compared to the US where it is frequent for inmates to be alone and under cared for as a form of punishment for their crimes. One thing I dislike about it is that the data is all put into lengthy paragraphs and there are no images, charts, or graphs like in the other studies.

How I used it: While it’s important to have a wide variety of different prisons studied to express my points, there is a quote from Griera that perfectly put into words why I am dismissing the high-security prisoners that lock up the most dangerous, unpredictable criminals, as well as the old-school prisons that are corrupt and use immoral methods of punishment. The prisons that would implement yoga are the more rehabilitative ones that allow for free time, outdoor time, etc. I think the quote I used from this article explains why I am not taking ALL prisons into consideration, and just picking out a few from my findings that best aid my arguments. Again, there was a lot of writing in this article but it ultimately just gave me more information to work with and pick out the best quotes I could.

10. Natalie Moore. “Finland’s Open Prisons”. Pulitzer Center, 2 September. 2021. Web 18 December 2021.

Background: This is a very short article, about a page long, that does not directly have to do with my topic. It is about open prisons in Finland and it shows how there is not one correct structure/organization method for penitentiaries.

How I used it: I only referenced this article once in my essay very briefly. I used a quote that showed how lenient Finland prisons are with their rules and schedules, and that is something that works for them. This article shows how inmates don’t always need to be treated like babies- if you give them some freedom and privacy they will not automatically take advantage of it. Overall I used this article to allude to the idea that prisons everywhere could be a little bit more “open”, or looser. This is most likely wishful thinking but I figured it was still helpful to include.

11. Anna Clot-Garrell and Mar Griera. “Beyond narcissism: Towards an analysis of the public, political and collective forms of contemporary spirituality. ResearchGate. MDPI, 12 October. 2019. Web 3 November. 2021.

Background: The author of the article discusses how yoga has always been a private practice-usually either done at home or in small, organized classes. She explains how if anyone were to randomly do yoga, say, at work or at the store, they would immediately be judged and deemed narcissistic. This is something I agree with because it’s strange, yet this article shows how that viewpoint of “strange” is all just a social construct we came to know, but there’s actually nothing weird about taking care of your body and mind. The author wants to spark social change. She references a lot of other authors who have studied yoga in public places, and even prisons, but this article is not an official study itself.

How I used it: This article was great for my causal argument because I was trying to discuss the negative perceptions of yoga throughout the country. This author helped me explain how people view the practice and once we get over this, all the benefits of yoga can be reaped publicly without any shame or criticism. I used a quote that highlights how there are stereotypes of yoga-practicing individuals to be “narcissistic.” This was a much-needed paragraph in my research paper because up until the causal argument, some of the material may have seemed a bit out-of-touch with how many people actually like or care about yoga. This showed the audience that I can be reasonable and acknowledge people’s preconceived notions, but that doesn’t take away from the facts.

12. Prison yoga project. “Prison Yoga Project”. (n.d.). Web 3 November. 2021.

Background: Prison Yoga Project is a nonprofit organization that is aiming to bring yoga classes all across American prisons. The link is not to a specific article but to the website’s home page instead. From there one can see a lot of pictures, links, videos, stats, and even quotes from rehabilitated inmates themselves who have already participated.

How I used it: This was a great site to reference for my causal argument because it answers the questions of “where do we go from here?” and “what does the future hold?” The cause of yoga in prisons can be seen right here, along with a few other organizations I mentioned in the same paragraph, because it shows how incredibly easy and possible it is to get things started. More specifically, I used Prison Yoga Project in my paper to show the popularity of the whole concept. I said they have sent out over 33,0000 free copies of their book, so that the audience knows they are working hard to spread the word. I also used a quote from M.V., one of the inmates who volunteered to share a statement about the program. M.V. showed had yoga can have a huge impact on anybody, even one who knows they are not getting released; yoga allowed M.V. to focus on the positives and find something to bring them peace, no matter their situation.

13. Michael Ryan Alexander. “Correctional Recreation: An Overview.” DigitalCommons.MurrayState.Edu. (n.d.). Web 3 November. 2021.

Background: This is a sixty-page long document from Murray State University that goes over all of the rules and regulations for correctional recreation. There are a surplus of laws provided that show minimum required recreation time, and the author overall advocates for it, saying that recreation time is an important tool and it should not be overlooked. There are so many other papers quoted by Alexander that can potentially give me more sources and more information on, not only recreation time, but schedules to prisons around the United States.

How I used it: This was important to include at the end of my essay because it also ties into the causal argument. If the audience is going to ask “well what’s next?” or “how can this be done?” I need to supply assurance that this is possible for the future. I used this source to show how prisons are required to give their inmates five hours of recreation per week for exercise and other activities. I think leading up to this the readers thought yoga would be too time consuming, but really just ten minutes of yoga a day can have a great impact. It doesn’t need to take up the whole time frame in order to be effective. This paragraph helped me show this and for that reason I think this was a useful source.

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