Five Vipassana courses have been held to date at the Baroda Central Jail in the Indian State of Gujarat. In 1993, the Superintendent, Jaghuvir L. Vora, published a book about theses courses in the Gujarati language. The following is an excerpt from an article in English by Mr. Vora called “Jail Courses and Vipassana”:
The immediate effect of the Vipassana courses in the Baroda Central Jail is that offenses inside the prison have been greatly reduced. The rules are now being voluntarily followed by the inmates. There is hardly any problem with quarrelling among the inmates or between the inmates and the guard staff. Cooperation between the prisoners and the guards has also improved, resulting in the smooth functioning of the jail administration, so much so that the general atmosphere of the jail has become peaceful and free from tension. Because the maintenance of law and order inside the jail is no longer a serious problem, the administration can naturally devote more time to the welfare of the inmates.
The beneficial effect of the reforms has been accelerated because the inmates have developed a receptive attitude towards them and have willingly started to participate in many activities. For example, many inmates started to meditate on their own when they were locked into the barracks at night, without this being suggested to them. Life in the jail no longer seems pointless; it has become full of spirit. Everyone seems satisfied, and a harmonious ambience prevails.
In short, the inmates have developed a purpose in life while previously they were groping in darkness. This is the spiritual reward of Vipassana meditation.