Thứ năm - 09/05/2019 05:09
By Nguyen Trinh Thi Ai Lien


By Nguyen Trinh Thi Ai Lien

Psychotherapy is now used as an instrument for correctional and reintegration works for the inmates in prisons. The aim of this paper intends to deal with the mental problems of criminals according to the Buddhist perspective. Before all, it is necessary to know the definition of the crime, criminaland the root causes of criminal behavior.


1.   Crime

Today, various kinds of unlawful deeds occur everywhere and every time, such as murder, assault, rape, robbery, burglary, arson, forgery, solicitation, conspiracy, drunk driving, and so forth. Such actions are called crimeand classified in many ways. Mostly, they are of twofold: violent and non-violent crimes; or may be of fourfold: personal, property, inchoate and statutory crimes and so on. This is the standpoint of worldly community.

In Buddhist eyes, there is no unique term denoting criminal action but some words also can be used on the same line, herein, akusala kamma is most used. In this term, the pāi word ‘kammais interpreted as action, and akusala – unwholesome, evil. All actions done by human beings either good or bad are called kamma, good deed is called kusala kamma and bad deed is akusala kamma. The

later denote evil activities through body (kāya-kamma), speech (vacī-kamma), and thought (mano-kamma). Of these three types, the most important are the mental activities, for these always un- derlie the other two.1 It means that mental actions lead the occur- rence of bodily and verbal actions, or on the other words, they arise first and promote the doing of physical acts. Linking to the origin of kamma, the Buddha taught thus: Volition - cetanā, monks, is what I call action2. Kamma does not mean past actions only but can be both past and present actions.3 Moreover, one point should be clear is that unintentional actions do not create any kinds of kamma, because it lacks of volition – cetanā involved.4

Following the definition of akusala kamma, the ten kinds of unwholesome courses of action are such as: 1. Killing living beings;
2. Taking what is not given; 3. Sexual misconduct; 4. False speech;
5. Slanderous speech; 6. Harsh speech; 7. Frivolous speech; 8.
Covetousness; 9. Ill will; and 10. False view. 5 Among them, the
three first belong to bodily actions, three next four come from
verbal actions, and the last three constitute mental actions. The first
three bodily and four verbal actions, when being done, may cause
criminal acts.

In regard with criteria for forming a crime, in worldly mean, a crime is measured by way of the three main approaches: official crime statistics, victim surveys and sell-report studies.6 Yet, from the Buddhists standpoint, the criteria for deciding the greatness of any offence depend on (1) size, (2) moral qualities of the victims,
  1. the effort, and (4) the forces of defilements of offender. Again, Buddhist point of view emphasizes much on the cetanā - volition. Another knowledge related to volition is ‘manasikārausually understood as intention. Wholesome actions due to wise intention
yonisomanasikāra, unwholesome actions are done due to wicked
    1. G. P. Malalasekera, W. G. Weeraratne, Encyclopedia of Buddhism, (Ceylon: Gover- ment of Ceylon, 1997), vol.4, 264.
2. A. II. 358.
  1. Sayadaw Dhammapiya, Realization of the Dhamma, (Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia: Selan- gor Buddhist Vipassana Meditation Society, 2003), 27.
  2. Ibid, 31
  3. Abhi. II. 405
  4. Russil Durrant, An introduction to criminal psychology, (London: Routledge, 2013), 38.

or unwise intention - ayonisomanasikāra. Wise or unwise intention may arise through the prompting of external factor, just as other person or unexpected situation. Actually, while performing a crime, both evil volition and unwise intention exist in ones mind and make stronger each other. They have interrelation and mutual help each other to arise and to become so powerful that evil physical doings will happen. In some instances, because of stress, one feels uncomfortable and has volition to do something for calming down it, but does not determine yet which deed will be done. Later, he goes outside and meet another man who does small mistake with him, the intention to fight or kill that person arises in him, then, he begins to do that. In this case, volition comes first and intention appears later. In another case, a young man by being prompted by a friend, he comes to steal a whisky bottle in the super market although before he did not have volition to do that. It proves how unwise intention arises and makes appeared evil volition. These two mental states are always in the same nature when one perform either wholesome or unwholesome deed. Also, they exist in people’ mind even though they are not easy to be recognized by people themselves.
  1. Criminal

For denoting the criminal, the Buddha had used many pāi words, but herein, the term lais preferable. This word has large scope of meaning, not only for the people who already committed crimes but also for those who have improper behavior and attitude by way of non-matured mind. They are so-called foolishones because of not knowing what should be done and what should not be done.

Generally, it is said that la are those who do bad actions and possess bad nature, or personality or characteristic. In Buddhist view, that nature or personality is understood under the name carita
temperament. There are many classifications of temperament according to pāi commentaries, but the popular one mentioned is in the Visuddhimagga with six groups of temperament - carita based on the leading mind and mental states. These are: (1) the greedy- natured (rāga-carita), (2) the hate-natured (dosa-carita), (3) the stupid  or  dull-natured  (moha-carita),  (4)  the  faithful-natured

(saddhā-carita), (5) the intelligent-natured (buddhi-carita), and
(6) the ruminating-natured (vitakka-carita).7   Among them, the
first three are positive and other three are negative. Those who
endow with these negative temperaments have tendency to commit
crime with higher rate than other types of people. Of course, not
all people belong to such temperament will commit offences but
those who already committed are certainly overwhelmed strongly
by lobha, dosa and moha and they could not control themselves
or not consider about the results of their acts in front of certain
unexpected situations. Therefore, they are called as la.

Linking to the personal temperament, it is said that greedy temperament person one who possesses much greed than other mental states. It means that when doing something, his mind is led by lobha firstly and strongly. Of course, there is always the presence of moha in all his actions. Sometimes, dosa may arise but it is not stronger than moha. Likewise, hatred temperament ones endow with dosa, act aggressively in many cases, they cannot control their anger in front of unpleasant circumstances. And those of deluded temperament frequently do unwholesome deeds without realizing it and do not have clear determination or decision when doing things. If they are encouraged by evil ones, they will follow and create evil deed lacking of consideration of bad consequences in future. People of these characteristics can be recognized by multiple appearances through bodily postures or positions. Like the criminal’ in worldly sense, the unwholesome temperament ones who commit evil deeds also receive bad results in present and future existences. That is inevitable even though people may recognize or not their offences.8
  1. Consequences of crime

The thinking that evil deed should be punished has appeared and existed in humans mind long time ago until today. In human society, powerful people give them the rights to punish the committers on behalf of justice. Many kinds of penalty have been created and executed imposing on the law-breaking ones. However,
    1. Vism. I. 98; Bhikkhu Ñāamoli trans., The path of purification, (Kandy: Buddhist Pub- lication Society, 2011), 102.
    2. M. III. 203.

no any compensation through penalty imposed by other people can recompense the suffering caused by criminal behaviors for the victims and for the criminals themselves. Moreover, there is no absolute fairness when comparing the proportion between the gravity of crimes and of the penalty imposed upon offenders. The usageofpunishmentformslikeimprisonmentorcapitalpunishment seems not to be so effective in the purpose of prevention or contribution, which is announced in the promulgation of criminal law. Related to that issue, the Buddha points out that only the law of kamma is the best and fairest one because it does not bear any intervention of any personal individual, including God or Creator following othersreligious doctrine. The principle of kammas law is very simple: good action will receive good result and bad deed will bear bad consequences, and “Evil is done by oneself, by oneself is one defiles. Evil is left undone by oneself, by oneself is one cleansed. Purity and impurity are ones own doing. No one purifies another. No another purifies one.9 Therefore, each individual is responsible for their own action and their happiness or suffering depending on their action here and after. Of course, the full seeing and understanding of this law cannot be penetrated by ordinary people but only by the Buddha. To be clearer about this point, it is invited to study deeper the Buddhas teaching. The main point here is that people should remind that whatever they do in their life will give them results either good or bad, and that how their life will become depending totally on their actions. Therefore, to get rid of unhappy life, people need to correct their view, their behavior following right and proper way. Especially for criminals, the work of changing their mind and behavior is nowadays known as psychotherapy.


The chief aim of introduction and application of psychotherapy is to make criminals become better and less suffered because of the evil past kamma. Briefly say, psychotherapyis given as an application  of  psychological  techniques  to  promote  personality

    1. Dhp. 165: Attanā hi katapāpa, attanā sakilissati; Attanā akatapāpa, attanāva visujjhati; Suddhī asuddhi paccattaṃ, ñño aññavisodhaye.”; Thanissaro Bhikkhu, Dham- mapada a translation, (Massachusetts: Thanissaro Bhikkhu, 3rd Edition,2003), 47.

and behavior change individuals who seek help from a professional psychotherapist for emotional problems, such as anxiety, depression, and other neurotic difficulties; an applied behavioral science10. In this case, the criminals are viewed as patients or clients. Knowledgeable psychotherapists select and recommend a treatment approach that is known to be well-suited for addressing a patients needs and concerns, and they tailor their procedures to fit each individual patients personality style and life circumstances.11 Depending on the concrete situation of each patient, the process may take long or short duration, and the way of treatment is also different from each other as effective as possible. In general, there are two methods: counselling and practice.

Counsellingorcounselingthatisaformofverbalpsychotherapy in which the counselor adopts a permissive and supportive role in enabling a client to solve his or her own problems12 or an organized field including a variety of guidance services that help people deal with personal, educational, and vocational problems.13 The Buddha stated that a good counselor should endow with talent skill and certain qualities: 1. Able, 2. Upright, 3. Perfectly upright, 4. Modest,
      1. Gentle, 6. Humble, 7. Contented, 8. Easily supportable, 9. With few commitments, 10. Plain living, 11. Restrained in sense, 12. Discreet, 13. Non impudent, 14. Free from familial bonds, and 15. Abstained even from a slightest wrong that the wise would censure.14 Furthermore, judging a persons character is one technique that a counsellor should have, on account of providing suitable advices to clients. Hence, the Buddha clarified that ones character is not merely his virtue or personality but is includes integrity, fortitude and wisdom as well. And it is also known after a long time, not by one who gives a passing thought or no thought at all, by a wise,

        1. Encyclopaedia Britannica - A new survey of Universal knowledge, (London: Grolier Incorporated, 1997), vol. 22, 734.
        2. https://www.apa.org/ptsd-guideline/, accessed on 14/12/2018.
        3. The Oxford English Dictionary, (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 2nd Edition, 1991), vol. 3, 1013
        4. The Encyclopedia Americana – International Edition, (US: Grolier Incorporated, 1997), vol. 8, 87.
        5. Kh. 10.

not by a fool.15 An example of an excellent therapist is the Gotama Buddha. The Dhamma taught by the Buddha are the best advices for people because His speech was always true, beneficial and on the time for different listeners, audiences. In fact, by means of His perfect wisdom, He knows all the mind and situation of all the listeners and with great loving-kindness,  compassion,  patience and skillful in using words, He offers the advices only to suitable people who really need and are capable to understand His speech thoroughly.

As for the practical aspect, in recent centuries, mostly in correctional centers, besides the usage of modern techniques, various meditation methods picked up from the Buddhas teaching are introduced and practiced, such as: in-out breath, abdomens movement, mindfulness and compassion meditations and so forth.

Incident of full Buddhist practice, there are two techniques: samatha bhāvana – tranquility development for getting concentration and vipassāna bhāvana – insight development for having insight wisdom. Firstly, for tranquility meditation, there are forty subjects in seven classes on what one should focus to establish concentration of mind, make it powerful and peaceful.16 On the other hand, the meditative objects taken by vipassāna is any present physical or mental phenomenon. Its goal is the achievement of insight knowledge that helps to discern the natural characteristics of conventional phenomena, the law of kamma, the Fourfold Noble Truths, and so on.

In practice, both techniques of meditation above can be practiced either separately or orderly. For the criminals, purifying and calming down from agitating states is needed in the beginning step. Once their mind is strongly concentrated, pure and tranquil enough, they will be ready for realizing the truths and changing. For that reason, samatha should be done to attain sufficient concentration before switching to vipassāna. In this case, the only momentary concentration is demanded, not absorption. Additionally, once

15. Ud. 65-66
  1. Bhikkhu Ñāamoli trans., The path of purification, (Kandy: Buddhist Publication Society, 2011), 112.

concentration is well established, mindfulness will appear as follower, keeping mindfulness moment to moment is a basic for peace of mind. The means to develop mindfulness is the fourfold foundation: body, feelings, mind and dhamma. In many discourses, the Buddha gave instructions to achieve mindfulness in practical way, namely, Mahāsatipahāna, Sati… Therein, He encourages practitioners to keep awareness or mindfulness at the present time while doing either small or big acts, such as walking, standing, lying down, sitting, or working, studying, sleeping, speaking, and  so forth. Along with that habit, when they must decide to deal with others behavior, they consider what is proper, what is not proper to do in automatic way. In daily activities, the consideration with mindfulness and knowledge may occur with the help of following questions: What is happening? Who does it? When? Where? What are the reasons leading to this problem? How is it? Is it necessary to do this or that? What is the benefit and disadvantage if doing like this or like that?’ and so forth. More mindfulness is firm more people are able to avoid wrong doings if they do not want to engage into the misery.

In principal, to have concentration, a greedy temperament one should focus on one of the eleven subjects, such as one of the ten signs of foulness - asubha bhāvanā or the recollection on the bodys parts or the nines cemetery contemplation to subdue lust and passion. Then, he dwells contemplating the origination factors in the body, or dissolution factors in the body, or both the origination and dissolution factors in the body. On deeper level, the Buddha pointed out the four reasons of arising of matter or body, namely ignorance in the past, craving in the past, kamma in the past and food to keep the body alive at present.17

On the same line, the tenfold foulness of body and the nine cemetery contemplations are also effective ways to reflect on the foulness of body. In practice, for criminals, it is not opportunity for them to go to cemetery to practice this object, but thanks for the guidance of skillful teachers, they can also practice this kind of

  1. Venerable U Sīlānanda, The Four foundations of mindfulness, (Boston: Wisdom Pub- lication, 1990), 48.

meditation. A fact should be known here is that avoiding to look at the same sex corpse is necessary too because lustful thought may arise in meditators mind during the contemplation if he or she does not have strong mindfulness. Nowadays, the meditation method for bones and skeleton seems the suitable and easier for meditators, then, it is used popularly in many meditation centers and institutions.

For a hating temperament  the  advised  meditation  objects are the four color kasiṇas: white – ota kasiṇa, yellow – ta kasiṇa, blue – nīla kasiṇa and red - lohita kasiṇa and the four sublime abidings: loving kindness - mettā, compassion – karuṇā, sympathetic or altruistic joymuditā, and equanimity – upekkhā. While contemplating on any of these kasiṇas, the important thing to do is not to give any idea or attention on the characteristic of colors, just focusing on the color to attain momentary  concentration. After that, meditator change into vipassanā meditation in taking any present object occurring around him. About the four sublime abodes – brahmavihāra: mettā, karuṇā, muditā, and upekkhā, their object connects to the all living beings and their states including oneself, other human beings and non-humans like deities or ghosts, and animals as well. The four things to wish while developing loving-kindness is to wish all living beings be free from enmity, from mental suffering, from bodily pain and be well and happy. The radiating loving-kindness should be done from near area to far, orderly from oneself, next a dear people including respectable and adorable person, a neutral person, then lastly, enemy. It means that meditator needs to send it towards those who stay near by him, like co-residents, familys members, neighbors, the non-human beings, etc., then towards others in far distances. If his concentration is not strong enough, radiating loving-kindness to enemies and to those of opposite sex is not encouraged in order to prevent from arising of hateful and lustful thoughts.

Next, to develop compassion – karuṇā, there are also some noted points. It is said that the first task to do for meditator is to review the danger in lacking of compassion and the advantage in

compassion. 18 The object of compssion is people or living beings in physical or mental suffering, misery or under unlucky, unfortunate difficult situation, opposite sex and dead people do not include in this scope too. The compassion should be felt to unlucky person like thus: This being has indeed been reduced to misery; if only he could be freed from this suffering!” 19 Furthermore, another way to send compassion for a monk or nun to an evil-doing person who faces a punishment is thus: Though this poor wretch is now happy, cheerful, enjoying his wealth, still for want of even one good deed done now in one of the three doors (of body, speech, and mind) he can come to experience untold suffering in the states of loss.20 In this case, the great pity forwards all the sentient beings is because of seeing them tied in the net of unwholesome states and so on as they are the culprits or perpetrators of all evil actions. The first person should be sent compassion is the criminals themselves. It is not to deny their responsibility but to know how the defilements are dangerous if they do not be careful in front of them.

Thirdly, muditā – sympathetic joy refers to rejoicing and getting pleased with others happiness and prosperity.21 While seeing a good thing occurs, the gladness automatically arises as uttering: How good or fine it is!22 Again, with feeling of muditā, one more thinking occurs as: ‘May all those people who are fully endowed with wealth and prosperity, be accomplish with their wealth that has been acquired, and be able to retain their wealth and prosperity as before, and continue to live in opulence with happiness as before.23 Then one should bring into his mind for all the people thus: ‘May all beings who are rich, be as happy and prosperous as before.24 Naturally, those who are overwhelmed with the feeling of envy will not be desirous of seeing others happiness and gain. As

  1. Ibid.
  2. Bhikkhu Ñanamoli trans., The path of purification, (Kandy: Buddhist Publication So- ciety, 2011), 308.
  3. Ibid
  4. Venerable Mahāsi Sayadaw, U Min Swe trans., Brahmanvihāra Dhamma, (Yangon: Buddhasāsana Nuggaha Organization, 1985), 252.
  5. Ibid, 254
  6. Ibid, 255
  7. Ibid, 255

said previously, envy or jealousy can become hidden factor causing evil actions, therefore, muditā is the way to prevent and stop these evils. In regard with criminals’ situation, developing muditā seems not to be so helpful.

Lastly, it is upekkhā - equanimity. Mahāsi Sayadaw states that the term upekkhāconveys the sense denoting the feeling of indifference without being worried by rejecting or discarding all kinds of anxiety arose through development of mettā, karuṇā and muditā.25 But, it is often misunderstood that it is negative attitude on account of being neutral or indifferent or non-felling seeing others miseries or prosperities. On the contrary, after sending mettā and karuṇā as far as possible, if the situation does not permit to help others, one should stay calmingly by the contemplation thus: All beings are having their individual kamma, either good or bad, depending upon their own past and present actions which bring them happiness or misery.26 In the instance of accused criminals, the equanimity attitude for them is to accept the penalty given to them by the Court Tribunal as consequence of their offence. Like that, their mind is free from unnecessary and unprofitable anger, anxiety, worry and sorrow because they are unable to change the situation, and that receiving penalty is due to the bad actions done by themselves, not brought by any other person.

Furthermore, the concentration based on the breath is the suitable subject for deluded temperament person as for noting mindfully in-breath and out-breath rhythmically can arrest ones mind and calm down restlessness in him.27 For this kind of meditation, meditator just needs to focus the incoming and outgoing breath with mindfulness. Placing the attention on one fix area like nostril or abdomen to observe the appearance and disappearance of breath, then notice the short and long of breath mindfully, making clear the entire in-breath and out-breath, viz. the beginning, the middle and the end of each kind of breath. After that, along with the progress of meditator, the gross breath

  1. Ibid, 266
  2. Ibid, 267
  3. Dr. Mehm Tin Mon, The essence of Visuddhimagga, (Yangon: Mehm Tay Zar Mon,

becomes calmer, subtler and more difficult till the point where it is hard to realize whether his breath still exists or not, at that time yogi should try to pay more attention to discern it. When meditator establishes mindfulness by this way on his breath, it is called the contemplation of the body in the body (of breath) internally. Being skillful with this, he may think of others breaths as well thus: ‘Just as my breaths have beginning and an end, appear and disappear, so do the breaths of other people.28 It means that he dwells contemplating the origination factors and the dissolution factors or both factors of the breath body. Herein, for a breath, original factors are the three things, such as physical body, the nasal aperture and a mind. On the other hand, its dissolution factors are the absence of any one of these three things. While contemplating on just breath, meditator sees nothing else but breath, viz. there is only breath, no person, no being, no woman, no man, no I, no He, no She…there is only breath, but no one who is regulating the breath or who is giving orders to the breath, who creates the breath; just the breath.29 That is the way he establishes mindfulness on the breath in correct way. Moreover, the remaining six kasiṇas can be used as meditation objects for them.

After establishing strong enough momentary concentration and mindfulness based on the four foundations (body, mind, feeling, and Dhamma), criminals should be guided to switch to insight meditation by taking the same object as samatha or any present object happens for realizing the true characteristics of conventional phenomena as anicca, dukkha, and anatta. By this way, craving, lust, hate and delusion will be subdued or eliminated from them. Consequently, wrong view, self-ego, conceit… will disappear. In parallel, the knowledge of kammas law (law of cause and effect) and the lokadhamma (8 kinds of vicissitude of life) is also needed to be explained to them as the nature of life for all living beings. Like thus, they will get a new lens for their life.

In practice, nowadays, the developing mindfulness based on the breath or inhalation or movement of abdomen together with the

  1. Venerable Mahāsi
  2. Ibid, 35.

development of concentration is guided in many places. Their aim is to get the self-awareness, and the awareness of external phenomena, the self-compassion and loving-kindness through the developing mindfulness, the self-reflection. Such self-reflection does not aim to increase repentance for the past but to more understanding themselves and to consider on the new way to renew their mind and body then their life. A practice of observing’ or accepting’ or letting goused by many psychologists or therapists, is no more than applicable practices of tranquility and insight meditations. The most important thing is to cultivate the inner good qualities, like as compassion, sympathy, loving-kindness, forgiveness, tolerance, and patience, etc. in them. By way of possessing such inner qualities, criminals will experience true inner peace by themselves and increase their inner powers so that they are capable to stay steady in whatever situation including their returning to the social life without any trouble. It is the success of the proper application of meditation in the reintegration of criminals as well as the rest life in prison for some criminals. In some aspect, it finds altruistic delight and comfort in relieving sufferings of others.30


For all that, nothing works perfectly by ordinary people who are imperfect in this complex world. In spite of great effort, the psychotherapy for criminals cannot get full success in all places because of various obstacles and unfavorable conditions. Typically, the difficulties encountered mostly come from the three main aspects: 1. Institutional conditions, 2. Staff services, and 3. Criminal themselves.

Firstly, concerning the institutions, the place where the psychotherapy process can be done must be separated from the prisons, where their cells are not locked, even the prisoners can also visit each other because the physical liberty for the inmates can bring refreshing on their mind and on the success of the therapy. However, the number of correctional institutions is less than the prisons too much, hence, certainly all inmates cannot

  1. G. P. Malalasekera, Encyclopedia of Buddhism, (Ceylon: Government of Ceylon,

receive the therapy fairly. The chosen offenders for the procedure must continue their sentence in the former place where there are full of non-practitioners who can impact negatively on unskillful practitioners. When their absorption of the new line is not firm enough, they easily to fall down into the old bad habits, especially for the juvenile delinquents.

Secondly, the number of psychotherapists who work in prisons is too little while the need is too much. Again, the correct guidance from both counseling and practical sides must be assured. Some guiders enter into the jails and give instructions according to their misunderstanding or incomplete knowledge about meditation practice. It is very dangerous for both guiders themselves and the patients for it may lead to inefficiency or opposite results.31 There is an analogue instance from Buddhist commentary about the story of five hundred monks committed the suicide by the misunderstanding of the preaching of the Buddha about the Asubhakathā contemplation of the impure. Therefore, the crucial difficulties for the therapists are not only to find out suitable plan for each case but also the skill in practice, especially for mindfulness and compassion meditation development.

The last big obstacle for the therapists is the non-cooperation from the inmates. Not all offenders easily accept the psychological treatment at the beginning, it takes long time to get the real cooperation from the prisoners. According to certain prison therapists,32 the process of therapy needs unfixed duration of time, at least three years for each case to complete. So, the short terms of sentence for many inmates seems to become an obstruction in correctional work. There are some cases with them, therapy is pointless, especially the ideologues like the Nazis, radical Islamists, or even pedophiles. They cling to their own belief which is steady and unshakable until death, hence, it is no hope for them. In the Buddhas lifespan, there are some people with them the Buddha could not advise due to their firm ignorance and stubbornness. In the Dhammapada commentary, the story of Venerable Meghiya,

31.https://www.thetimes.co.uk/edition/news/why-mindfulness-makes-criminals- worse-3sd6xf5fh, accessed on 17/12/2018.
32.https://www.vice.com/en_uk/article/bmey9q/a-prison-psychologist-explains-how- he-treats-murderers-and-rapists, accessed on 20/12/2018.

one of the attendants of the Buddha. One time, while following the Buddha to Jantu village near Cālika mountain, crossing a mango forest, he wanted to stay there and meditate alone by way of desire of staying in that forest. So, he did not continue the journey with the Buddha, although the Buddha advised him three times. Then, the Buddha went alone and let him do as he wished. But finally, he could not accomplish his practice because his mind is full of attachments and very rigid. Therefore, with those who have no willingness to change and opened mind, no plan does work with them.


In conclusion, the issue related to criminals or to the society at large is not simple one. The criminals, ultimately, are victims of lobha, dosa, moha and other evil mental states. They are not total bad, but in some instants, lacking of mindfulness and being overwhelmed by these evil states, the creation of unwholesome doings is inevitable. Therefore, they are more pity then blame- worthy and punishable. In many countries, the conditions of live of criminals in prisons are not well at all from the dwelling place, food, sanitary, health care... Moreover, the criminals are treated by official staffs and by other inmates in disrespectful manner. Is it fair for them to sustain such conditions in these hell in the world’ because of their mistakes? Instead of putting all of them in small space as a kind of punishment, there are many ways to make them repay their offences in positive and helpful sense. It is also a mean to make them better and help their reintegration in future. In some places, this program is carried out and get certain successes, but it is not always the best way to attenuate the recidivism when the prisoners do not realize the correct way for remaining time of their live.

Actually, when an evil action is done either successful or not, there are definitive loss and damage either physical or mental for both victims and offenders. In all the cases, there is no absolute equality to compensate for loss or suffering. Again, there is no exact proportionality between the crime and its punishment because no one has rights to give punishment on others even though on behalf of justice. Only the working of the law of kamma is the fairest system because it does not bear any personal decision and regulation.

Thus, the understanding of this natural law is useful for human being escaping troubles and living more responsible for their live. Whatsoever type of punishment, it is better to consider about the humanity in the way of treating and to give a chance for mistaken doers to correct and recompense their mistakes by useful activities than imposing capital punishment or life-sentence on them.

Concerning the psychotherapeutic technique, in spite of being a part of correctional mechanism, psychotherapists have involved a significant contribution to the welfare of criminals. The psychotherapy either through modern technology  or through traditional ways needs to be done for each patient accordingly to their situation, characteristics and temperament. For Buddhist perspective, once people live with mindfulness and clear comprehension through meditation, they can get rid of all unwholesome acts and maintain moral and peaceful live. Of courses, that achievement depends totally on their manner of practice, and effort, and patience, more they try harder more they obtain freedom and happiness.

Psychotherapy is one of the missionary work that all Buddhists can do for the welfare of all living beings, especially it is the responsible of monks and nuns. Learning, practicing following the Buddhas teaching and bring the Dhammas light to others are their career. However, the cooperation and support of official and social authorities for attaining an effective result is very important for clergys work. In addition, not only in Buddhism but also in other religions like Christian, Hinduismthe work for helping criminals is also carried out and obtains certain significant success. The research for these activities may be performed in the further topic. One point should be noted here is that there is no critical comment or comparison between scientific, outside religions and Buddhist psychotherapy. Whatsoever that can make criminals and people better is appreciated and welcome. Connecting to the meditative methods for improving inner qualities and powers, like concentration, mindfulness, compassion, loving-kindness meditation, and so on, Buddhist meditation centers are the most suitable places to train the professional therapists. Nowadays, many psychologists teaching meditation come to meditation centers

to study and practice first, then, they apply what they absorbed experimentally to their job in effective and positive way. But, how to bring it to the prisons as a daily activity and nutrition is a key point in real application. Again, is it necessary to provide the same experiences of training to all staffs who work in all the departments of prisons? Since the staffs are the closest ones who contacts the criminals. Their attitude and treatment influence directly to inmates. A kind and compassionate manner from the staffs is also a positive ambient factor in helping inmates to stay peacefully during their sentence.

Moreover, the preventive and educational activities should be done in more active way to everybody, especially to the youth when they get in touch with technology too early without proper regularity. It is more important than solving the consequences of already problems. By the way, this work needs the cooperation of the whole society, not for any specific field, because it is the responsibility and for the welfare of the entire community.


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