MET Corrections Expert to Lead Yoga-Based Reform Effort
Dr. Danielle Rousseau has long dedicated herself to the comprehensive rehabilitation of incarcerated individuals, with focus on issues related to gender, mental health, and trauma. To advance these aims, the assistant professor in the MET Criminal Justice master’s program will lead a new BU study dedicated to assessing the impact of trauma-informed yoga instruction on the detained, conducted in partnership with the nonprofit Yoga 4 Change.
Awarded a $50,000 grant by the Chartrand Family Foundation, the Yoga 4 Change study will compare three groups of incarcerated individuals—a set of volunteers who have opted into the yoga-based correctional program, a set that has been designated to participate via sentencing, and a control group that does not participate—and evaluate whether the intellectual and physical practices can aid in the emotional growth of participants and better prime them for healthy re-entry into society. The study will be based in Jacksonville, Florida, and the grant affords 50 days of study for Rousseau and a team of BU faculty and graduate students, to assess Yoga 4 Change’s viability and possible expansion.
“I have seen that embodied mindfulness programming can help to ameliorate mental health symptoms, improve physical well-being and create positive coping strategies,” said Dr. Rousseau, who is also a licensed therapist and certified yoga teacher. “Yoga can help with impulse control, bring greater awareness, and allow the practitioner to more effectively maintain sobriety and to manage trauma symptoms by staying present.”
Read more, including a Q&A with Dr. Rousseau, at Yoga 4 Change.