Throughout the United States, there is a growing recognition of the need for interventions that address the high rates of psychological stress and reduced wellbeing experienced by individuals within the prison system.

Justice

Transformation Yoga Project (TYP) provides healing alternatives to the effects of mass incarceration on the individual, communal and systemic levels. Through the lens of Transformative Justice, our trauma-sensitive, mindfulness-based approach extends to those who are incarcerated, in reentry, in communities disproportionately affected by incarceration, and those working within the justice system. We envision a world where all people can discover the tools to heal from trauma and to create a meaningful impact in their communities.

Trauma-sensitive mindfulness-based programming is a cost-effective participatory intervention. Recent studies have shown that yoga and mindfulness programs positively impact individuals involved in the justice system. We prioritize sustainable access to yoga and mindfulness programs that support physical, mental, and emotional well-being.

256

Number of justice classes served in
7 counties so far this year

6

Number of Partnered
Facilities

2896

Number of Participants so
far this year

Program offerings:

  • Weekly Classes
  • Staff and Professional Development
  • Health and Wellness Programs for Staff
  • Peer-to-peer vocational training
  • 200 hour Certification: Yoga Teacher Training Lectures, Presentation and Workshops

We serve individuals, communities, and systems that are impacted by the legal system & incarceration

  • Baylor Women’s Correctional Institution
  • Institute for Community Justice
  • Philadelphia Department of Prisons- Full campus (5 facilities)
  • Philadelphia Federal Detention Center – partner with Heart 2Heart
  • Philadelphia Juvenile Justice Services Center
  • Montgomery County Correctional Facility-
  • Montgomery County Youth Center
  • Delaware County Juvenile Detention Center
  • Chester County Correctional Facility
  • Chester county Probation and Parole- WRAPP program
  • SCI Chester
  • SCI Graterford
  • SCI Muncy

“I first got into yoga when I was in punitive custody/solitary confinement otherwise known as The Hole. It was very helpful to me physically, mentally, and spiritually. I felt more comfortable in my own body, mentally clear, alert, at peace and more in tune, or attuned, spiritually. Yoga is giving me a new tool for self-control and self-mastery.”

“Yoga class helps me because it’s the one opportunity I get to leave the unit and focus on myself. It’s the only class where you allow your body to teach you and to guide you. You get a chance to leave the drama behind at the unit and allow your body to move freely without judgement. It’s a class where you get to be yourself. In yoga, you get to make your own decisions. Yoga class is a reflection of life, and you can carry what you learn in yoga outside into the real world.”

“Yoga is a way to help free your soul. It helps calm my anxiety, anger, and stress. It helps manage all of this because it works on relaxation, breathing, balance, and flexibility. It helped me find new ways to be comfortable and taught me a coping skill.”

Program Highlights

  • Participants in the Philadelphia Department of Prisons have shown reductions in depression as measured by the Center for Epidemiological Studies -Depression Scale.
  • 89% of participants intend to use breathing techniques to reduce stress and anxiety as they need.
  • 80% of participants are more relaxed/calm or less stressed immediately after practicing yoga.
  • 100% felt the facilitator of the yoga class provided a safe space for the group to practice in.
  • A Justice program for youth found improvements in emotional awareness & regulation.

Learn more about Justice Studies

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Brianne Murphy

Director of Justice & Reentry Services