A Pragmatic Study of the Impact of a Brief Mindfulness Intervention on Prisoners and Staff in a Category B Prison and Men Subject to Community-Based Probation Supervision [2020]


This article presents two studies assessing the impact of mindfulness in prison (prisoners and staff) and non-custodial settings.


Study 1—prisoners (n = 17) and staff (n = 15) in a UK prison completed a mindfulness program; 16 individuals acted as a single time point comparison. Data were collected using self-report, computer based and physiological measurement. Study 2—men under community probation supervision were allocated to mindfulness (completed, n = 28) or TAU (n = 27). Data were collected using self-report mindfulness measures.


Study 1—statistically significant (increases in mindfulness skills (η2p = .234 to η2p = .388), cognitive control (η2p = .28), and heart rate variability (SDNN; η2p = .41) along with significant decreases in stress (η2p = .398) were found. In study 2, the mindfulness group showed non-significant improvements in mindfulness skills.


The findings suggest brief mindfulness interventions could make an important contribution to offender rehabilitation and custodial staff wellbeing.

Jason Davies, Pamela Ugwudike, Hayley Young, Chloe Hurrell, Peter Raynor
International Journal of Offender Therapy and Comparative Criminology, July 18, 2020