Prison Outreach Program/Chant Aid
Why do inmates need your support?
The Call and Response Foundation affirms the sacred worth of every human being without exception. We also recognize that many inmates will one day be free citizens again. We think it’s important to connect these people with a force that counteracts the violence, stress and trauma of their lives. Kirtan music can be that force. Our goal is to cultivate an intention to live spiritually, ethically and in cooperation with others. That’s the kind of work that serves us all.
“Kirtan is about transcending the kinds of things that cause war—the kinds of things that move us into a place of fear and cause us to focus on our differences,”
– Gaura Vani
The healing effects of kirtan benefit the individual and society.
A growing body of medical research suggests that kirtan positively influences the mind-body relationship. It’s been shown to be effective in helping some combat veterans with re-entry into civilian life. In prison, as in the military, trauma and stress are a part of everyday life, often compounding already existing problems. Kirtan music reduces anxiety and depression and helps to counteract the effects of trauma. It heals wounds and re-awakens lost hope, reminding everyone of what is true and whole in them.
Some of our favorite comments about the power of chant have come from behind bars:
“The prison is never quiet, but I can find a space inside me that is “now.” I’ve never had that before. You don’t know how much it means…you really don’t.”
“This is the first time I’ve felt free after 25 years in prison.”
Read More about when Krishna Das went to prison for Call and Response.