See this documentary film: The Dhamma Brothers @ the Brattle

The billions spent warehousing convicts in soul-destroying prisons don't seem to make much of an impact on recidivism or crime rates. Maybe the solution is as simple as the word "om"? Documentarians Andrew Kukura, Jenny Phillips, and Anne Marie Stein's The Dhamma Brothers (2008) takes a look at a program at the Donaldson Correctional Facility in Alabama, where the resident psychologist brought in teachers to instruct volunteers in Vipassana Buddhist meditation. Their training involved perching on a cushion for 10 hours at a time in utter silence for 10 days. Sounds like a stint in the cooler might be preferable, but the program worked so well that the jealous prison chaplain insisted on shutting it down. The film screens at the Brattle Theatre as a presentation of the Massachusetts Campaign for a US Department of Peace & Nonviolence. The filmmakers will be attending in person for a discussion. The Brattle is at 40 Brattle Street, Cambridge | May 21 @ 7:30 pm | $9.75; $7.75 students; $6.75 seniors | 617.876.6837 or

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