On six continents, thousands of prisoners are now watching Words of Peace as part of their rehabilitation program. Words of Peace, which features Prem Rawat’s message of hope and the possibility for each individual to find peace whatever their circumstances, has inspired hundreds of inmates to write letters of appreciation.
Many prison officials have noted life-changing results in the prisoners, and many officials themselves enjoy viewing the videos. The program has been so successful that several prison officials have invited Prem Rawat to speak at their facilities. One prison administrator in the UK said, “Prem Rawat gives hope to all, including those people in our society who are from less-advantaged backgrounds and could be easily forgotten or unheard.”
The outpouring of letters of appreciation from prisoners around the world speaks for itself. Here are quotes from a few of them:
“Thank you for removing the bandage from my eyes. I am learning to live, to be thankful even here in prison. I am learning to focus only on good things, to share, to feel thankful for this life, for this breath. I am learning to enjoy every moment.”
“Thank you for all your effort, for your message reaching us. It helps us a lot, especially me, because even in hard, hard moments and all the bad news, I am learning to face my life in prison with courage and peace. It is happening because of your teachings. Thank you.”
“I am finishing off a ten-year sentence for petty theft. Here in this prison are the most uplifting messages anyone can speak. I am speaking of the man of peace, Prem Rawat. I don’t think I’ve missed any of his programs. It is such a help.”
“Thank you for sharing your message with us. It is so real and alive. It really keeps me in tune with my own self to realize that inner peace is inside of me, and it really gives me hope today in my life. The message that you share is so real to me, and you speak straight from the heart. Thank you. I am in prison, but I have peace inside of me today.”
An organized program called The Words of Peace Prison Network was established by volunteers in 2007 to facilitate the availability of Words of Peace in correctional facilities in North America. In partnership with The Prem Rawat Foundation, The Prison Network supplies printed and audio/visual materials to inmates at no cost. One of the program’s main goals is to provide a forum of information and communication for volunteers who are seeking to help inmates discover Prem Rawat’s message of peace and hope.
Many inmates write letters of appreciation thanking Prem Rawat for his message and usually asking for more information. Every letter receives a response from The Prison Network, and any inmate who requests more information receives complimentary copies of ADI magazine, which features excerpts from Prem Rawat’s addresses, and a set of informational booklets, generously supplied by The Prem Rawat Foundation.
In the US, WOP has been on TV in about 250 correctional facilities since December, 2007 via the Transforming Lives Network, a distance learning project administered by the Correctional Education Association (CEA) that provides inmate education and staff development via satellite broadcasts. Many inmates with TVs in their living accommodation have discovered Words of Peace simply by channel hopping, while others have been introduced to it by staff, fellow inmates, or by attending Words of Peace classes. Since access to TV is restricted for most inmates, printed materials also assume great significance, and there is a large demand for them.
Words of Peace has won awards for public access cable TV programming in Brazil and the US. It is currently available for viewing at correctional facilities in the US, the UK, Spain, Africa, India, New Zealand, Mexico, and a number of countries in South America.