Violent altercations in prisons can be very dangerous for inmates and prison staff alike. A new small study suggests that showing nature documentaries to inmates could help to ease aggression in prisons.
The study took place in the Snake River Correctional Institution in Oregon, in a maximum-security unit.
Over a year and a half, the inmates in one recreation yard had an opportunity to watch nature videos projected in the yard, while the other half of the inmates did not. Those who saw the videos were involved in 26% fewer violent infractions that those who didn't. Which is the equivalent to 13 fewer violent incidents over the year, according to researcher and clinical psychotherapist Patricia Hasbach.
Surveys revealed that 80% of the inmates who saw the videos said they felt calmer after viewing them. 70% said they remembered the nature videos later, in times of stress, and were able to calm themselves down.
Prisons in six other states have contacted researchers for information on how to institutes this program in their facilities.
It just goes to show that sometimes a change in scenery can go a long way.