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Yoga Program Helps Reduce Violent Incidents In Lincoln County Jail

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Female inmates at Lincoln County Jail in Newport are participating in yoga classes. Since the program began, the jail has seen a reduction in violent incidents and yoga classes are now being offered to male inmates. 

A few years ago, Lincoln County Jail had to cut educational and time management programs after budget reductions. Inmate counselor Dennis Buckmaster began looking for programs the jail could facilitate and found the Prison Yoga Program taught in California.

Buckmaster: “And I just was reading the website and thinking this would be great. If we could bring yoga and some mindfulness into the prison it would help them with you know the trauma they’ve experienced, the anxiety they’ve experienced about being in jail and maybe reduce the number of fights and confrontations that we have in the jail.”

Buckmaster found a local retired yoga instructor and convinced her to try teaching. In order for the yoga classes to continue, Buckmaster had to prove the program’s effectiveness. He says since they started the program fights and other problems have been reduced by 4.6 percent.

Now the yoga inmate program is being offered men and signups begin this week. The program is volunteer run. Supplies like yoga mats, blocks and uniforms were purchased with profits earned from the jail’s commissary.