The Impact of Mindfulness Meditation and Self-Compassion on Criminal Impulsivity in a Prisoner Sample – 2018

Previous studies indicate a link between mindfulness practice and improvements in self-compassion Neff (Self and identity 2(2):85–101, 2003b), self-regulation Baer (Clinical psychology: Science and practice 10(2):125–143, 2003), and a reduction in criminality Rainforth (Journal of Offender Rehabilitation 36(1–4):181–203, 2003). Similarly, self-compassion has been linked to greater self-control among criminals Morley (Journal of Aggression, Maltreatment & Trauma 1–15, 2016). The focus of this study was to investigate the impact of mindfulness meditation and self-compassion on criminal impulsivity. To accomplish this investigation, a survey was conducted examining self-compassion as a mediator for the practice of mindfulness-based meditation and criminal impulsivity among jail inmates interested in meditation. The analysis showed that self-compassion, criminal impulsivity, and length of practicing mindfulness meditation were correlated. The results also showed that the relationship between practicing mindfulness meditation and self-reported criminal impulsivity was mediated by self-compassion. The results and limitations of this study were discussed.

Richard H. Morley
Journal of Police and Criminal Psychology, June 2018, Volume 33, Issue 2