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.