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Rainforth, Maxwell V.
Crime prevention and rehabilitation through the Transcendental Meditation and TM- Sidhi programs: two evaluation studies of a Consciousness-Based approach

Order No. 9971791

Two studies are reported on the application to offender rehabilitation and crime prevention of a Consciousness- Based approach utilizing the Transcendental Meditation and TM- Sidhi programs of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. Study I followed recidivism rates over 15 years among former inmates who learned the Transcendental Meditation (TM) program at a maximum security prison in California. Survival analysis controlling for 22 subject profile and criminal background variables found significantly lower rates of re-arrest leading to felony conviction among inmates instructed in the TM technique compared to matched controls. Lower recidivism rates were observed during the follow-up period among the TM group than among the control subjects (46.7% versus 66.7%). This difference was significant (p = .0008) in a Cox regression analysis, which showed that the reduction in the risk of recidivism was 43.5%. Analysis of long- term relapse patterns, using a split population Weibull model with covariates, indicated that 58.1% of the TM group versus 73.7% of the control group would eventually re-offend (p = .01). Significant reductions in recidivism in TM subjects compared to controls were also found on a measure of severity of re- offending (p = .023). Study 2 was a prospective experiment on the effects of an eight-week assembly of approximately 4,000 participants in the Transcendental Meditation and TM-Sidhi programs in Washington, D.C. during 1993. Time series analysis of FBI weekly crime data controlled for effects of weather variables, daylight, police staffing, historical crime trends and annual patterns in the District of Columbia, as well as trends in neighboring cities. Results showed that violent crimes against persons (i.e., homicides, rapes, and assaults) dropped significantly during the Demonstration Project, corresponding with increases in the size of the group; the maximum decrease was 23.3% (p < 2 × 10 -9) coincident with the peak number of participants in the group during the final week of the assembly. The time series analysis also indicated that a permanent group of 4,000 coherence-creating experts in the District would have a long-term effect of reducing HRA crimes by 48%. These results are discussed in terms a theoretical model for the effects of development of consciousness on causes of crime identified by standard criminological theories. Source: DAI, 61, no. 04A (2000): p.1625

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