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Learning within a Prison Environment: Will Emotional Intelligence Training Benefit Female Inmates Participating in a Work-based Education Program?

L.G. Bosteder, Ed.M., and S. Hargrave, Ed.M.

Coffee Creek Correctional Facility, Oregon State University, Oregon, March 2008.

For a PDF version of the complete paper, click here.


Many of the women who enter prison have emotional self-management difficulty. Often they come from dysfunctional or abusive backgrounds, and have abused drugs and/or alcohol to manage their emotions. The highly charged emotional environment of a woman's prison is augmented by the already inherent struggles of prison life, the loss of most freedoms, and nearly all privacy. Learning and acquiring new skills in a workbased program is frequently inhibited as a result of this emotional chaos. Emotional education and heart coherence skills practiced from HeartMath have shown obvious benefits to student learning, emotional self-management, behavior, and relationships with only 10 weeks of training.