Yoga Behind Bars

Case study curated by Juliet Yok Yin Wong Min, Jimmy Witters, Fergus Ward and Alexander Shanmugham

Values: Integrity, Love, Excellence, Social Justice, Community

Incarceration has increasingly become an inefficient panacea for many other social issues such as mental illness, racism, poverty, homelessness, and drug addiction.

This project shows us how everyone deserves a second chance despite one’s wrong choices or actions. Yoga behind bars has changed some of the prisoners’ heart through this program. It offers them a sense of peace, belonging and purpose. Some of participants eventually becomes yoga instructors and encourage others to participate in the program.

This project can be considered as an act of generosity and empathy. Participants feel a sense of belonging and can connect with others through this activity. Volunteers also benefit from it and have a clearer understandings of those behind bars.


The Organisation

 Yoga Behind Bars is a Seattle-based non-profit organization in which professional yoga instructors volunteer to teach yoga and meditation to offenders in prisons, jails and detention centers across Washington in hopes of helping them through the rehabilitation process. The vision of the organisation is “Reimagining The Criminal Justice System”.