The government of Maharashtra has long promoted the use of Vipassana as a rehabilitation tool for inmates. The problem has been that few prisons in the state have facilities for holding a 10-day residential course. As an interim measure, in April 2016 the Police Department of Maharashtra issued a directive calling for the adoption of Anapana programs in prisons. (See July 2016 issue of the Newsletter.)

Thus far, a total of nine institutions have adopted Anapana for inmates. Under the program, inmates attend an introductory session, where they listen to a talk given by Goenkaji and also hear his instructions for practicing Anapana. This 70-minute session is repeated weekly for the benefit of new arrivals at each institution.

After the introduction, every day the inmates have 10 minutes to meditate in the morning and evening with the help of instructions that are broadcast over the public address system.

Not all institutions have audio systems that reach inmates in their cells. For those institutions, the Vipassana Research Institute is providing the necessary equipment.

The initial response has been good. The intention is to direct participants in the program to 10-day Vipassana courses at institutions that are capable of hosting them.

(Source: International Vipassana newsletter, news section)