Peace & Police

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Mindfulness and Justice

Mar 11, 2016 | by admin

Mindfulness can be used in the criminal justice system in various settings. Mindfulness in the prison system is possible. It can assist with the restorative justice process in the juvenile courts Lawmakers can pass legislation that permits mindfulness in the justice system.

According to The Greater Good Science Center, Mindfulness “involves acceptance, meaning that we pay attention to our thoughts and feelings without judging them—without believing, for instance, that there’s a “right” or “wrong” way to think or feel in a given moment.”[1] In my opinion mindfulness can be used in the criminal justice system in various settings such as prisons, the court system, etc. There have been studies done on mindfulness and the criminal justice system. In the justice system the mindfulness process is relatively new and it has its skeptics, but the process of mindfulness can be useful.

The Global Coalition for Peace describes several projects that teach mindfulness and yoga and other balancing experiences to prison inmates as well as prison staff. “These projects have been conducted within prisons that offer the most challenging and unsupportive environment, demonstrating that such work is viable.” [2] In my opinion, mindfulness in the prison system is possible, and it is a system that can work. It can help inmates cope with their time and also teach them to be responsible for their own actions past and present.

Another area of the criminal justice system I would like to bring to the forefront is the juvenile court system. In order to assist with the restorative justice process in the juvenile courts, I believe that a mindfulness practice should be included in that process. I say this because it gives both parties a moment to clear their minds before entering the restorative circle. It is a very important piece for helping to clear the participant’s mind before entering the restorative space. In this area, mindfulness has already started being used.

Lastly, I would like to address the legislative branch of the criminal justice system, the group that creates the laws of our country. When it comes to mindfulness in the law making process, I believe that the lawmakers can pass legislation that permits mindfulness in the justice system. In all honesty, implementing laws that permit mindfulness in the justice system would be the hardest to do.

So is there a relationship between mindfulness and justice? Yes, I do believe that there is, although it will be a long process to get this change in the criminal justice system. I believe that mindfulness can have a good benefit in the criminal justice system.

 

[1] The Greater Good, The Science of a Meaningful Life, at http://greatergood.berkeley.edu/topic/mindfulness/definition

[2] Global Coalition for Peace, at https://sites.google.com/site/rosespages/prison-ashram-project