A significant proportion of incarcerated individuals suffer from mental health disorders. Nearly half the prison population have depression or anxiety, 25% have both and suicide rates are considerably higher than in the general population. In the year after release from custody, prisoners who have anxiety and depression are more likely to be re-convicted than those who do not. Mindfulness-Based Interventions (MBIs) have been used in a number of small pilot projects in the UK, and in the US there has been some early research which indicates its potential for reducing violence in prisons and re-offending rates. Wider research into mindfulness also points towards its potential to address a number of psychological processes and states that are relevant to the risk of recidivism.

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Learn how the Mindful Leaders programme is transforming lives in Kenyan prisons.