Inmate Selection

Selection of Inmates

Before the course, it is useful to have a series of informal classes to review different aspects of the course and to give adequate time for questions to be raised with Vipassana staff. These meetings also help build rapport and trust between Vipassana staff and inmates, and the beginnings of a working relationship. Videos introducing Vipassana are available and may be presented to inmates, followed by a question and answer session. Basic informational literature, including the Code of Discipline and booklet The Art of Living, will be distributed.

Inmates who wish to take the course will fill out an application and a student data form. Participants will be selected after the introductory talks, by prison authorities and the meditation teachers.

It is essential that participation is completely voluntary. There should be neither secondary gains acquired for participation (such as reduced sentencing, more visits, etc.) nor any disincentives, such as loss of jobs, room space, etc. This will ensure that each participant’s motivation is purely to benefit from the technique.
Applications will be carefully reviewed, after which Vipassana staff will interview each participant for suitability and readiness to undertake the course.

Corrections staff will ensure that each participant is free to attend the complete course, and will not be called out for hearings, visits, medical appointments, etc.
A final list of participants should be prepared with the following details: name, age, education, profession, and duration of sentence. This information should be prepared by staff and a copy given to the teacher prior to the course.

Next Topic: Code of Discipline