Italian officials are considering the expansion of The Prem Rawat Foundation’s Peace Education Program to help incarcerated people make better choices and successfully rejoin society.
The founder of The Prem Rawat Foundation (TPRF) created the innovative workshop series to help people discover their own inner strength and personal peace. Since 2012, the Peace Education Program has been offered in more than 683 correctional facilities across the globe, winning praise from officials for improving attitudes and behavior. The program has been successful at several locations in Italy, including the Venice Santa Maria Maggiore and Pagliarelli prisons, and leaders are considering an expansion to include many more facilities throughout the country.
Joining Prem Rawat on September 25 at the Italian Senate were Minister of Justice Alfonso Bonafede, Arnaldo Lomuti of the Senate Justice Committee, and Alessandra Maiorino of the Special Committee for the Safeguard and Promotion of Human Rights. A live video stream shared the meeting with a wider audience in Italian and the recording is available from Radio Radicale here.
In his remarks, Prem Rawat emphasized that the reason the Peace Education Program works is that it brings out the good in people.
“The world needs some ability to promote the good in a person. It is incredibly important. In schools, from kindergarten, we tell kids what they should not do, but we don’t strengthen the decision making process that should come within them,” he said. “This is about acknowledging what can help people who are in dire straits, so that our communities, our societies, and indeed our countries, and our world, can stay together; not fracture apart.”
Italian officials praised the Peace Education Program for helping incarcerated people productively reenter society and not repeat past mistakes.
Minister of Justice Alfonso Bonafede applauded the program for providing a forum for participants to rethink their behaviors, assume responsibility for their actions, and acquire more self-awareness. Senator Arnaldo Lomuti commended the program for helping participants reflect on the value of their life, on their dignity, and the importance of making better choices.
Their comments are supported by a comprehensive new study of 604 incarcerated participants across four continents that found remarkable results. Positive improvements were found in 89 percent of participants, who reported that the program helped them feel empowered to face past events, gain a willingness to change, better manage their anger and avoid fighting.
In her remarks, Senator Alessandra Maiorino emphasized the value of the Peace Education Program beyond prisons, and how it can help youth in schools.
Indeed, the program has proven effective in a variety of settings outside of corrections such as schools, community centers, and many more.
The Peace Education Program workshops can be offered in person, virtually, or on inmate tablets by GTL and Edovo. The course is neither religious nor political, and The Prem Rawat Foundation makes the workshop materials available free of charge.
The Peace Education Program is just one of the ways that TPRF advances dignity, peace and prosperity by addressing fundamental human needs.
During the height of the COVID-19 breakout in Italy earlier this year, TPRF worked with the Italian NGO, CESVI, to help provide over 1 million facemasks, 550 ventilators, and critical care to the elderly and handicapped.