The Way to Happiness Helping Prison Inmates Reform
A nonreligious moral code that helps prisoners take stock of their lives is the subject of a new brochure published by the Church of Scientology.
The average cost of incarcerating one inmate in the United States in 2010 was $31,286. In a study conducted in 40 American states and published by the Center on Sentencing and Corrections, the cost to taxpayers was $39 billion annually.
According to a study  by the University of Cambridge’s Institute of Criminology, published in the book Breaking Rules , at the root of the problem is immorality—the common element found in individuals turning to crime.
To address this underlying factor, juvenile facilities, community crime prevention programs and jail and prison programs use The Way to Happiness, a nonreligious moral code based entirely on common sense, written by author, humanitarian and Scientology Founder L. Ron Hubbard. The booklet is the core element of Criminon, a nonprofit organization dedicated to the rehabilitation of juvenile and adult penal offenders. The program has serviced some 150,000 inmates in 38 nations.
One inmate explained what this program has meant to him: “I find it so amazing that me being in prison for a wrong I’ve committed, now being labeled a felon and soon ex-con, would be offered the hand of friendship. This is the richest compliment I’ve ever received in my life.”
He explained how he first approached the course and how his attitude changed.
“I said to myself, this was just a correspondence course I ventured into to kill some time in a productive manner. And for me it turned into a heart-changing experience. Not only has the course stimulated my thinking process, but the personal sharing of experiences has been so therapeutic and emotionally enriching to my soul,” he wrote. “[It] has helped me break down the self protection shield that I thought kept me safe and isolated. I’m beginning to allow myself to trust and take some risk. And mostly it feels great to communicate with someone honestly. In here everyone is a “Legend” (in their own mind) and the years’ conversations consist of bravado, myths, and fantasy. Rarely is there anything real. So I’m thinking I wish to express my sincere gratitude to you for the compassion and kindness you have given me.”
“I was a confused person before I did this program,” wrote another inmate. “I used to be angry, depressed and rude. I did not have self-control and was not good to others. When I started the program I learned how to think before I react and it helped better than doing the wrong thing, like fighting and putting people down. I feel good and more confident than I ever did.”
“Being in a prison environment which oftentimes breeds negativity, proper methods to resolve potential drama are very much needed,” wrote another inmate. “This course helped me to help others but most importantly to help myself survive when others attempt to tear you down.”
Another inmate had this to say: “After doing this course I understood that life is very easy and you need to live on basic and simple rules. It is true that my acts of kindness may not solve the problems of the world, such as hunger, poverty, pollution, etc. But the goal is not a problem-free world; the goal is attainable right here and now—a state of love, goodwill and helpfulness between me and at least some of the people around me instead of fear, distrust and selfishness. I hope whoever is reading this that he or she will understand this simple way of living: ‘Do not search for happiness. Search for right living, and happiness will be your reward.’”
The Church of Scientology and its members are proud to share the tools for happier living contained in The Way to Happiness with all who work to build a better world. For more information, visit www.Scientology.org/TheWaytoHappiness .
Scientology: How We Help—The Way to Happiness, Creating a World of Honesty, Trust & Self-Respect is one of a series of brochures published by the Church of Scientology International to meet requests for more information about the Scientology religion and its support of global humanitarian initiatives and social betterment programs.