Mindfulness is a technique and sense of being present in the moment that incorporates aspects of acceptance, openness and meditation with the ultimate intention of improving well-being. Research indicates that mindfulness can significantly improve negative personality traits, reduce stress, increase attention, alleviate chronic pain and enhance mental health. Mindfulness-based interventions in correctional facilities have resulted in reduced hostility and improved self-esteem for adults, but less is known about its applicability amongst youth. This article reviews the research-based literature on the use of mindfulness-based interventions for youths (aged 13 to 24 years) involved in the justice system. A total of ten studies were located and synthesised into four themes of stress reduction, self-regulation, anger management and acceptance. The article concludes by considering the methodological rigour of the reviewed studies, providing recommendations for future research and contemplating the positive impact that mindfulness interventions might have on youth in the criminal justice system.
Rachel Murray, Rebecca Amann & Katey Thom
Psychiatry, Psychology and Law, 14 Jun 2018