Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

The Judge Meditates

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

The Judge Meditates

Article excerpt

St. Louis Circuit Judge David Mason's focus on Transcendental Meditation as a method of helping criminals change their behavior may be dismissed by some as little more than New Age voodoo.

On the other hand, every judge hopes defendants will change their behavior after spending time behind bars. Judge Mason happens to believe sentencing them to meditation plus jail time is one way to modify behavior. The question is: for how long? Will it work once people are returned to environments that offer them so many easy temptations to commit more evil acts? The judge can't say.

He already has sentenced seven defendants to meditation in addition to jail time. He now wants to test his theory with 100 defendants, each facing 120 days of so-called shock incarceration. Transcendental Meditation would be a condition of their probation. Judge Mason stresses that meditation would supplement jail time rather than replace it, though he says the experiment may prove that meditation itself can be an effective alternative to incarceration. …

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