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Prem Rawat, the Italian Minister of Justice and some Members of the Italian Parliament recently held a symposium at the Senate in Rome, Italy to highlight the value of the Peace Education Program offered by The Prem Rawat Foundation (TPRF) as an educational tool for the rehabilitation of inmates in correctional facilities.

TPRF recently released a new video of the symposium, making it available for the first time with subtitles in multiple languages: to watch click here. It shows why the Peace Education program has been so successful.

Prem tells us that some inmates have actually told him that if they had participated in the Peace Education Program before they were sent to jail, they would not be there now. In Greece one man even asked if it were possible to go back to the correctional facility after his release in order to finish the Peace Education Program!

One theme of the symposium was that the program works because it brings out the good in people. All too often we have not been trained to see the good, but we always seem to be on the lookout for the bad. We are quick to notice when someone is doing something wrong. This is the basis of the current criminal justice system. People make mistakes and society ends up spending tax dollars to keep them incarcerated.

However, change does not necessarily happen when we try to rehabilitate and/or educate wrongdoers. They stand a much better chance if they are helped to see what is good in themselves. Everyone has both good and bad within them. Both can be strengthened by attention and focus. The good can take you to new heights of clarity and understanding. 

As Prem says, “The Peace Education Program is about strengthening the good which is already inside each one of us.”

We learn how our choices can change our lives, and this empowers us. We are often so busy thinking and doing that we don't take a moment to realize what we actually are thinking and doing.  With more conscious awareness, we make fewer mistakes and thus have less to regret later. Peace involves understanding the value of now and being conscious in the moment.

At the symposium, Alfonso Bonafede, the Italian Minister of Justice, recognized the success of the Peace Education Program. It is currently being implemented in two correctional facilities, and he called for it to be offered at many more throughout the country. He hopes the program can reduce recidivism by helping inmates take responsibility for their actions and make better choices when they are released, eloquently explaining, “in peace we find a tool to educate the soul of a person”.

Likewise, Arnaldo Lomuti, Italian Senator and Coordinator of the Commission for Justice believes that the moment a person crosses the threshold of a correctional facility, society has failed that person. Correctional facilities are there to fix that problem and provide opportunities for rehabilitation. He speaks about how the Peace Education Program is of great educational value because it maximizes the opportunity for sincere change.

Teacher and Italian Senator, Alessandra Maiorino, refers to how peace education is seldom taught in the curriculum as a subject. Peace is a central human need which is often overlooked. She says the Peace Educational Program is exceptional in addressing the need for inner equilibrium. She hopes the program can also be offered at Italian high schools to stop people from committing crimes in the first place.

The Peace Education Program relies on donors like you to fulfill its mission and reach more people. The Prem Rawat Foundation is wrapping up its 2020 Reaching Out Appeal and asking you to support this initiative and other great projects and programs. Watch the video and show your support by the December 31 deadline here.