CHARLESTON, W.Va. – Female prisoners at Lakin Correctional Center in Mason County are part of a pilot program examining the benefits of yoga for inmates.

State Corrections Commissioner Jim Rubenstein outlined the program to members of the Regional Jail and Corrections joint committee on Monday during Legislative interims.

The program is modeled after a one at the jail in Richmond, VA. Rubenstein said  had great success with their yoga program and the rate of recidivism.

“It seemed to bring more of a peaceful atmosphere that permeated through the facility,” explained Rubenstein. “We’re hoping for the same results.”

The instructors who lead the program at Lakin are volunteers and the pilot has cost virtually nothing to implement.

“They’ve started their first class with 25 females and so far the feedback has been very positive,” according to the commissioner.

Yoga has long been touted as a calming force for those who practice it and Rubenstein said it has lots of benefits.

“Not only are they getting the physical aspect of the yoga but also talking about domestic violence and some other areas during this class,” stressed the commissioner. “So far, so good.”

Rubenstein said it will take awhile to see the full impact of the pilot program. But from what the prison is reporting so far, it’s a success.

“We wanted to get the pilot up and running and see how it went. Certainly the desire is to expand into some other facilities,” he said.

Several lawmakers on the committee said they are very interested in starting yoga programs at correctional facilities in their districts.

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  • susanf

    It may not cost a lot, but I seriously doubt it will be beneficial as far as preventing recidivism. In fact, why would it? If the offenders know they will be treated so well back inside, where's the incentive to stay out of prison? This is one of the dumbest ideas I have heard!

  • Troy S

    you are an idiot.

  • Troy S

    I've been thru the joke of the judicial system. Been thru the the lies and phoniness of it all. I dont know about prison, but jail certainly is no retirement community. And why they call them correctional facilities..... I'll never know.

  • 2XLPatriot

    An inexpensive way to keep offenders from reoffending is simple. Common sense, responsibility and hard work. It has no price tag but is priceless and the rewards are great. No cost to tax payers. Instead of coddling crimminals, go back to chain gangs, hard labor, no TV or A/C. Prison is nothing more than a retirement community with a little "back end" discomfort...According to TV that is. Troy S. apparently has some experience with the judicial system. Wonder if he could enlighten us on this?

  • Leo

    That is kind of like our alternative Ed at school, kids want to be in there, what is wrong with this picture?

  • thornton

    I reckon yoga could easily teach inmates to relax, would create a calming atmosphere and likely will lead to becoming healthier.....all in addition to finding yet another way to scheme the system....and laugh as they play act their way day by day.

    The prisoner's praying hands, I reckon they do pray for more programs with which they can ride out their boredom

    Personally ....I would put more faith in having Gilbert Gnarley of the Pia Zadora Retirement Home as judge and jury.

  • prisonteacher

    Anything that is inexpensive that could keep offenders from reoffending should be implemented. The cost of incarcerating reoffenders far outweighs the cost of these programs.

  • susanf

    Hell, if anything they will be committing MORE crimes to get back into prison because it is nicer than being in the outside world!

  • susanf

    Seriously?? We are going to fund YOGA classes for criminals?? What next, free massages and spa days?? This is about the most stupid thing I have heard of lately!

  • 2XLPatriot

    Nothing serious enough to end up in jail or prison.

  • Troy S

    You've never broken the law? Have you. You're my hero!!

  • 2XLPatriot

    Stop breaking the law and they wouldn't have these problems in the first place.