How We Present
Offenders avoid jail time now and Zen
by Paige Taylor
The Australian Translate This Article
7 May 2005
On 7 May 2005 The Australian reported:
'Robbers, burglars, and people convicted of assault are being sentenced to Transcendental Meditation and management courses to deal with anger as an alternative to jail.' According to The Australian, the unorthodox approach being used in the West Australian city of Geraldton is representative of a new worldwide trend to give judges the power to offer constructive sentencing.
It is a joy for Global Good News service to feature this news, which indicates the success of the life-supporting programmes Maharishi has designed to bring
fulfilment to the field of government.
Geraldton magistrate Michael King told The Australian that in his experience the Transcendental Meditation Programme helped offenders calm down and think more clearly about their choices.
Although the Australian interviewed those with serious doubts about these alternative options, King insisted that it was working.
The approach of offering stress management and anger management courses was met with wide approval at a national conference of magistrates, court staff, and academics in Perth.
King told the group that of the more than 120 chronic and repeat offenders he had sentenced to meditation and other courses since 2001, 55 per cent had not reoffended.
He was quoted as saying, 'Normally, a magistrate will see a revolving door of the court and people going down into increasing levels of dysfunction and offending, but in these cases you see the offender actually turn their life around.'
King continued, 'These are not cases where the person has attacked someone with a metal bar and puts them in the hospital for a few weeks. These are cases where the sentence would not have been jail, or where jail is not the only option, and I give them the benefit of the doubt. Punishment is one aspect for the courts to consider, but it's clear that rehabilitation is another.'
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