Prisoner Rehabilitation

Prison Program at Brandvlei Maximum Security, 20-24 January 2020                 

Total number of participating inmates: 16
Teachers: Rafal and Jacqui

100% of the inmates reported very positive experiences from the course and have committed to continue the breathing practices. They recognise the value it has brought to their mental and physical wellbeing. They took to the techniques easily, were very disciplined in their practice and grasped the knowledge well.

The major changes reported during the feedback following the course were: feeling significantly more calm and relaxed; improved sleep (including an immediate full night of sleep which is challenging in the maximum security setting); improved flexibility; a change in mindset; being able to better handle anger, emotions, and stress; self-control and a reduction in aggressiveness, hatred, anxiety, depression and fear; purity of mind and positivity; more focus and being less judgmental of others; increased self-confidence and respect for the other inmates; inspiration to take action and more responsibility; and an overall sense of lightness and peace of mind.

One inmate commented that he felt the course would be instrumental to anyone facing stress and challenges in their lives, and that if he had completed the course prior to being arrested, he would have been able to make better and more informed decisions, which would have prevented him going to prison in the first place. Another inmate felt that his emotions were more stable following the course, that he could think clearer before making decisions with the ability to absorb pressure without breaking down.

100% of the inmates felt that they would recommend the course to other offenders and some had already inspired others to do the course simply by practicing the techniques in their cells and their own personal growth. It was also suggested that the course would not only benefit every inmate at the prison, but also the prison staff, and their own families. Some reported that ‘everyone wants to join the course now’.

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Prison Program at Groenpunt Correctional Services

Another life changing Prison Program, was rolled out last week at Groenpunt Correctional Services under the experienced eye of Chintz, supported by Anil & Deana.

54 participants completed the program & based on the testimonials provided it was another great success.

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Breath Water Sound follow-ups with parolees & probationers at the Evaton SAPS and Evaton Sebokeng Zone 7

On Tuesday, 30 April 2019 another 2 Breath Water Sound follow-up sessions were held with parolees and probationers at the Evaton SAPS and Evaton Sebokeng Zone 7 area in the Vaal South of Johannesburg.

Busy Corner

The team Leader Bongani, together with the others in Sebokeng has already started a business called “BUSY CORNER”, where they specialise in car wash, laundry services, ironing and soon garden service (landscaping) as some of the parolees and probationer’s are painters, carpenters and plasterers. This will also give them an opportunity to make use of their skills. We are proud of all their achievements thus far

and all the above was initiated from the first BWS course held in February 2019 in Vereeniging.

They have also taken the initiative to work with the local waste management, regarding clamping down on illegal dumping and collection of waste recycling items.

Moving forward, finally they’re also working on Safety and Security, whereby they want to be trained on how to prevent and deal with shack fires and first aid to save lives until professional help arrives.

The IAHV Vaal project leaders are currently working on a short term goal to open a IAHV Centre in Evaton.

Thank you to our incredible team of IAHV seva warriors lead by Chintz Bhana & Gavin Huber.

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Breath Water Sound for parolees and probationers

Our first Breath Water Sound follow up took place in Sasolburg with a group of 35 parolees and probationers.
They had completed the course in February 2019 with Prison Program teachers Chintz Bhana and Manoj Dayal.

With guidance and assistant from Ms. Melissa and Gavin Huber (Vaal) and Ms. Carla Van Staden from the Dept. Correctional Services they have embarked on a farming project.

They have selected their own team leaders and currently communicating with the Dept. Of Agriculture. The DOA has agreed to assist and guide them with farming skills, and provide them with seedlings to kick start the project.

The team said “Our aim is to move forward and to serve the less fortunate in our community. We want to leave and forget the past”.

A very big THANK YOU to all our Prison Program Teachers, Melissa, Gavin & Team and to our Volunteers for your dedication, time and creating a positive impact to Human Values.

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Prisoners For Peace

The Groenpunt Correctional Services Witnessed a radical transformation of 78 high maximum inmates who underwent the five day IAHV Prison Program . Through the very effective Sudharshan Kriya (deep rhythmic breathing) negative emotions of anger , guilt , mistrust which translates into violence, aggression and crime, gently receded as deep rooted stresses were released from the system thus paving the mind for a more relaxed, calmer and peaceful state.

As they became accustomed to the daily routine of yoga and the breathing techniques , their energy levels started to show significant improvement . A relationship of trust was established and a more openness began to develop with a optimistic dialogue between us . The main theme being how to remain happy in spite of the current status quo , how to prevent a life of crime , how to maintain a peaceful and successful state of being on the inside and out.

Inspite the challenges of having to attend court hearings and going to the infirmary which often prevent inmates from attending our courses conservatively , this course had its lowest drop out rate. This was evident enough of their conviction to improve themselves and also bore witness to the highest number of repeaters . Some repeated this course for the firth time, which is evident in itself to the efficacy of this course.

By the fifth day the minds were well settled , the mindsets more positive and optimistic and a more cooperative behavior was evident.

They reported the following :

  • Feeling very happy after the course , stress released, relaxed and peaceful. They said with this feeling, feelings of anger and violence can not exist .
  • Many felt their anger had reduced
  • Seventy four inmates said their sleep improved significantly, from having insomnia to having uninterrupted sleep
  • Majority reported healing experiences in this course (one person who suffers from sinuses and is chronic medication dependent after the Kriya he did not require and medication as the sinuses were fully opened.
  • Addictions such as smoking reduced
  • Stomach ailments disappeared
  • Chronic headaches subsided
  • Many felt relief from guilt and were able to forgive themselves and ask for forgiveness
  • Fear reduced and hope induced
  • Improved behaviours , they wilfully walk away from flights
  • Influencing gangs in a positive way
  • Feeling of remorse and not wanting to go back to a life of crime and violence, but rather towards a more stable, peaceful family life

Since the implementation of our program the officials have reported there has been no gang violence, not a single fight in the last 6 months at this facility.

On how to break the cycle of crime and violence, they gave the following feedback:

  • Few reported having been arrested for reoffending. Re-offense occurs they said due to a lack of adequate support once leaving the criminal justice system . The stigma of being an ex-convict and the alienation from family and society makes it’s extremely challenging to reintegrate back into society and hence re-offense
  • The cycle of violence can only break when there is a socio-economic shift and job creation
  • Gangs should positively influence its members and not entice one to a life of crimes and violence (e.g education should be encouraged , sports and recreation and arts and culture should be a focus .
  • Each one should take responsibility for their actions and emphasised a life of crime is not worth it .

This work will be show cased:

Afrikaans insert:
Saturday 22 Sep
KykNET – channel 144
English insert:

Sunday 23 Sep.
Time to be confirmed
eNCA – channel 403


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Mandela Day at Groenpunt Department of Correctional Services

The IAHV in conjunction with Groenpunt Department of Correctional Services joined forces in honour of Mandela Day and the 67 blankets initiative. The inmates of Groenpunt prison, under the care of Anita Hanekom, knitted 67 amazing blankets with 20 of these handed over to IAHV Vaal for their Leeuhof Service Project.

See below “Thank You letter” for the amazing donation of 20 hand-knitted blankets… certainly a lot of incredible effort and love went into producing these and I have no doubt that each blanket will find a special place in the hearts and lives of those that will receive them on Thursday Mandela Day!!

The ability to persevere in the face of challenges and to still succeed is the quality of a true leader and an inspiration to all… thank you for continuing to be your amazing self!!!

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