The program was created by a local judge, Jose Henrique Mallman, who got the idea for this program after googling "renewable energy" on the Internet. Mallman, like many progressive minded folks, started realizing that prisons were doing little to reform inmates and had little effect on violent crime rates. Mallman is also moving to create a program that would reduce prisoner stays for reading and submitting book reports.
Prisoners are already singing the praises of this program. The program has kept some prisoners busy, who report feeling physically and mentally healthier as a result.
|The Dancing Prisoners of Cebu Prison, Philippines|
This program was engineered by the prison's chief, Byron F. Garcia, who believed that a dance program would help improve the physical and mental health of inmates.
I am a big supporter of these kinds of programs. In addition to encouraging health promoting behaviors and reducing prisoner stress, I believe that they encourage teamwork and cooperation amongst a population that is often internally divided. I like to believe that these programs might be settings where some prisoners build positive relationships with other inmates and may help some inmates develop social skills that they hadn't developed in other domains of their lives.
How do others feel about these kinds of programs? Are they worth it? Are there other similar programs that are shown to work in the US?