By: AP
By: AP

BESSEMER, Alabama Alabama's highest-security prison has
become a national model for an unusual meditation program that
officials say is helping reduce violence there.

The program is called Vipassana

It's based on ancient Buddhist practices that outside volunteers teach to inmates who volunteer for the lengthy courses.

Officials at the William E. Donaldson Correctional Facility say the courses help turn violent inmates into calm men, and the warden says it's helping the entire prison. An internal study found a 20 percent reduction in disciplinary problems among inmates who've
been though the courses.

The word Vipassana means "to see things as they really are," which is also the goal of the intense 10-day program.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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