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      Fall 2004
      Newsletter

      Graduates
 

      Guests
 

      Keynote
      Address
      Hon. Judge
      Mason

 

      TESP Award
 

      Guest of Honor
      Hon. Judge
      Autrey


      Certificates

 

      Hon. Judge
      Heagney

 

      Hon. Judge
      Russell
      of Illinois

 

      TESP Research
      Dr John
      Sterling

 

      Overview of
      TESP
      Mr. D. Magill

 

      Probation
      Officers

 

      Reception
 

      Website
      updated

 

      Thanks

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TESP - an Alternative Sentencing Program
that Utilized the Transcendental Stress Management®
 Program for Offender Rehabilitation



From left, front:  Hon. Judges David Mason, Henry Autrey and Philip Heagney of St Louis, MO, and Hon. Judge Thomas Russell of IL; David Magill, TESP Director; Rita Sanders, Probation and Parole Supervisor; Ruffina F. Anklesaria, TESP Project Mgr

From left, back: John Sterling, Ph D, TESP Director; Richard Perdun, Chief Probation Officer of Jersey County, IL; Farrokh Anklesaria, TESP Exec Dir; Probation Officers Dave Jennings, Rosalyn Morgan, Kelly Mc Pherson and Laila Russell; Bob Ferguson, TESP Director; PO Daniel Spring and Jane Kaberere, TESP Volunteer

Dear Friends and Supporters of The Enlightened Sentencing Project:

 

New Graduates

We are delighted to inform you that on September 1st, 2004, another group of probationers successfully completed the course of instruction and graduated from The Enlightened Sentencing Project. The probationers had wonderful stories to share with the audience about their lives before and after the TESP program.  Some of the course completion essays are featured on our web page, Endorsements.  Following are excerpts from three of the best essays.

 

 



Probation Officer Dave Jennings (front)
and participants at the Graduation Celebration

Courtney B.

"The TSM classes have helped me overcome my fears and stress because when I started I had a lot of it stored in my body.  With TSM my relationship with loved ones and family members is awesome.  I can talk to them about anything.  There’s no hiding anything from them. I was never a social person.  TSM has helped me to communicate with people.  I have so much confidence now I can talk to anybody – even with the President – if they listen…

I was locked up for two years.  I have been shot in the thigh with the bullet coming out through my foot.  I have shot at people – but I don’t know if I hit anybody.  I have been doing and selling drugs.  I was so stressed I took all kinds of drugs.  I am 22 years old.  It is very difficult to change this lifestyle which started from the age of 13.  But TM has changed me completely.

TSM has helped me to be drug-free and stay drug-free.  I have no need for drugs now.  I am no longer tempted by them.  I do not want to have anything to do with drugs.  I do not want to be around people who do drugs or sell them.  I feel like a different person now and want to continue to remain that way.  I will keep on meditating…

I wish a program like Enlightened Sentencing had been around in the 80’s.  One of my cousins was shot by a cop and another cousin is still in jail.  With TSM and a little bit of guidance, they could have been saved.

I want to thank Judge Mason and my probation officer for putting me in classes so I could find my inner self and change my life. ”

 

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Marquis F.

"TSM has had a major effect on my life.  It is like I am a totally new person.  Before TSM I smoked weed as an answer to all of my problems.  TSM has helped me to stop smoking and it gives me a way to relieve stress.  I used to be stressed out on a daily basis.  Since TSM I am less likely to become stressed out.  TSM makes me very calm.  This state of calmness clears my mind and makes it easier for me to think.  Since I started TSM I make decisions quicker and easier.

My friends and family have noticed the difference in me.  I don’t smoke anymore and I am less likely to get an attitude with them.  I would argue with them over simple things.  My mother asked me what happened to her son.  I told her that he grew up.  Since TSM, me and my mother are able to sit down and talk without me getting an attitude with her.  Without TSM I do not know what my life would be like. ”

 

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Kimberly H.

"At first I was skeptical about TSM because it was forced on me as a requirement of my probation sentencing.  However, I gave it a real shot and I want to thank God that I did.  Little did I know that I was in for a big shock!  TSM opened my life to a whole new world.  TSM is great!  I wish I had TSM in my life years ago.  My self-esteem has risen, and I’ve learned to love myself for me.  I’m more focused without worry, my blood pressure has gone down.  I put forth more thought before making a decision or taking action, and my mind is more at ease.

... I think TSM has a lot to do with me being more relaxed, less sad and less depressed.  As for my family, they are very proud of the changes in me.  My baby girl Sheena is extremely happy with the changes I’ve made.  She said that she’s glad that I practice TSM because now she has the Mom she always dreamed of.  She said that she can now call her mother and not get her head chewed off.  She now calls my name several times a day just to tell me she loves me.

So not only is my eyesight brighter every time I come out of my meditation, but each and every day is a bright day because my kids smile at me, say how proud they are of me, and how much they love me.  As you can see, TM is a unique and important aspect in my life. ”
 

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Distinguished Guests

Many judges and probation officers came to offer their congratulations to the probationers who had been sentenced to the TESP program by them.  The judges present were: Hon. Henry E. Autrey of the Federal District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri, Hon. David C. Mason and  Hon. Philip Heagney of St Louis, Missouri,  and Hon Thomas Russell of Jerseyville, Illinois.

Families of the probationers and friends of TESP attended the celebration.  Special guests included Kay Ferguson of Fairfield, Iowa.


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Keynote Address
 



Hon. Judge David C. Mason, Circuit Judge
22nd Judicial Circuit of Missouri;
Founding Judge, TESP


The keynote address was given by Hon. Judge David C. Mason, Founding Judge of TESP.  Here are excerpts from Judge Mason's very inspiring and powerful speech:
 

"I just want you to know that the courts really appreciate all of you for taking the time to do something to really help yourself.  Because there is more going on than just you guys doing well.  It’s the people around you that are going to do better.  It’s going to be your sons, your daughters, your brothers and sisters, your mothers and your fathers.  All are going to do better because of the example that you are going to set for them. 

 

So you guys are actually going to go out and save people’s lives.  By nothing more - not through great persuasive words that we lawyers try to do, not through powerful decrees of judgment like we judges like to do, not through huge amounts of money, or through armaments or armies.  You are going to change and save people’s lives through something a whole lot more powerful – through the simple and persuasive power of your own example.  So go on guys and just be you. Keep practicing your meditation and just be you.

 

"It just makes me realize that it’s all worth it.  I don’t care how much people want to criticize; it’s worth it.  And it will be something I will do so long as I wear the black robe because I know it’s going to make your lives better, make the lives of all those who have gone through this program better, and it’s making my job easier."

 

"How many of you guys have gone through the drug rehabilitation programs? You know that there are millions being spent on those programs and you know all the guys who have gone through those programs go right back to where they were! One day somebody is going to say: “Boy you know all this money that we are spending to recycle guys to the same judge, we can save some of that money by just adding to it the Transcendental Stress Management program.”  I bet you guys found, if you are doing the drug rehab, that the drug rehab program became more effective with the TSM technique added.  Didn’t it?

 

One day, the light bulb is going to go on and somebody is going to figure that out.  When that happens, Farrokh, you’re going to have to do some serious teacher recruitment. And we judges will have a lot less work to do.  Thank God. Reduce the police forces because we will have great success for all.

 

"You know, one of my favorite moments is when those revocation docket sheets come out.  I know you’ve been there too, Judge Heagney.  I see those lists with the names of all those confined waiting for probation revocation hearings.  There are as many as 20 or 30 names assigned to each judge, whereas I have only one or two offenders come up for probation revocation hearings!  It makes my job easier.  You guys make my life easy.  So I want to thank you for that as well .  You make the city better, you are making it safer, you are giving me a better place to raise my boys.

 

"There isn’t a lot that people can do in this world where they really get to say “we are willing to make a difference.”  Most of us at least are given a chance to make a difference by being parents.  I want to close with the words of this gospel song which ends with the line: “Lord pray that my living be not in vain.  If I can just help somebody, along life’s way, then my living will not be in vain.” world.  You guys have made my living not in vain!   Thank you. 

You can read the full text of Judge Mason's address by clicking here.


Guest of Honor receives TESP Award

Our special Guest of Honor was Federal Judge, Hon. Henry Henry E Autrey.  Judge Autrey was presented a special award by The Enlightened Sentencing Project, in association with Hon. Judge David C. Mason.  The Award recognizes and honors Judge Autrey for his leadership in promoting Consciousness-based Rehabilitation, his foresight in using TESP as an alternative sentencing program and his wisdom in making the program available to as many offenders as possible so that they do not return to the criminal justice system but turn a new leaf and lead productive, healthy and happy lives.

 

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Hon. Judge Henry E. Autrey
United States District Judge, Eastern District of Missouri

 

Hon. Judge Henry E. Autrey

Hon. Judge Autrey spoke of the positive results probationers had with the TESP program.  He said:

"The experiences that I have had with recidivism from my probationers, when I was in a position to send people to the TESP program, were the same as Judge Heagney’s and Judge Mason’s.  My success rate with TSM probationers was far greater than the success rate of those probationers who do what I call the “regular” program.  Because the approach with the TSM program to the problem is different and it is holistic – something I said three to four years ago; that the key to the treatment of offenders is to have a holistic approach.

Judge Autrey's full address can be read by clicking here.

 

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Certificates of Completion and Awards Presented to Probationers

Our Guest of Honor presented the beautiful framed Certificates of Completion to the probationers who had successfully completed the course of instruction in the last few months.  Each probationer also received a gift and a few outstanding students were recognized for Best Essays, Best Attendance and Punctuality, Most Helpful Student and Most Enthusiastic Student for Yoga Exercises. 

 



Hon. Judge Philip D. Heagney, Circuit Judge
22nd Judicial Circuit of Missouri

 

Hon. Judge Philip Heagney

Hon. Judge Heagney, who holds the record for sentencing the most probationers to the TESP program, addressed the graduates.  Here are excerpts from his remarks:

"Every Friday I have a group of, almost always, men, and occasionally, a woman, standing in front of me and we are examining this question:  “Can people change themselves or is it our problems and our shortcomings that define us?”  And at the probation revocation docket what I am hearing usually from at least some body is:  “Judge, face it - this person is not going to change.  This person, he or she, is on the road to a penitentiary and when you give probation and then you give another chance at probation and yet another chance at probation all we are doing is delaying the inevitable.  Let the person go to the penitentiary and start doing time.”
 

And sometimes that’s what ends up happening.  But I don’t believe that as human beings we are incapable of change.  I don’t believe that we get put on one road and that’s the road we have to stick to.   But I do believe that we all have problems and we need tools to tackle those problems, deal with them and figure out how to get ourselves on a different road.  That’s what you all have done and this Friday when I am sitting in that court room I am going be able to look at those folks and say: “You know what, I know a whole group of people who turned things around, who are on a different road, they are doing it, and I know you can do it.  Get down to The Enlightened Sentencing Project and start meditating!”

Judge Heagney's full address can be read by clicking here.
 

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Hon. Judge Thomas Russell
Jersey County Courthouse, Jerseyville, IL 
 


Hon. Judge Thomas Russell; Special Announcement

Hon. Judge Russell of Illinois offered his congratulations to the probationers and made a special announcement on the occasion.  He announced his intention to begin sentencing probationers to the program offered by TESP very soon.   He said he was looking forward to duplicating the success enjoyed by the graduates of TESP in St Louis, in his county in Jerseyville, Illinois.  Here are excerpts from Judge Russell's speech:
 

"This gift of transcendental meditation is really more precious than any amount of money. The whole universe is created by consciousness.   It is that grounded consciousness from which everything else appears, visible and invisible.  It’s a tremendous power that you have.  And it’s gift that you need to use wisely and cherish it for the rest of your lives.

I am pleased to announce tonight that after two years of working with Farrokh and Ruffina, we are going to begin The Enlightened Sentencing Project program in our county in Illinois.  It will be the first of its kind"


Read Judge Russell's full speech by clicking here.


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John Sterling, Ph.D., Research Psychologist,
Director, TESP


Slide Show on TESP Research

Dr John Sterling, a research psychologist and TESP Director, gave an interesting power point presentation on the ongoing research being conducted on participants of the TESP program.  Here is an excerpt from Dr Sterling's address. 

"...the participants in the TESP program complete a battery of psychological tests and they cover impulsivity and aggression and feelings of control.  That is how much control you feel like that you have over your life and your environment.  And we administer this battery twice -  prior to initiation of the program and then again following completion of the program.  Then we compare the results of this pre-test to see if we found an improvement.  And we actually had done some research previously on an initial 45 participants in a completed program and, as expected, we found a significant improvement amongst the participants on all the tests that we used. Everything we looked at, except one measure, was significant.  So it was pretty dramatic in terms of the impact.  And then for this group we have some additional ones.

We have got 23 participants since then that have gone through, and I will show you some test scores here...  Basically when you have a sample size that is this small it’s just not appropriate to do statistic response but we will do them again once we have enough participants in the program.  I just want to show you there are three tests I am going to report on.  One is on impulsivity.  You can see here the pre-tests and post-tests.  You can see the improvement we have seen in the participants.”  

You can read his full text here.

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David Magill, TESP Director;
Vice-President, Engineering, LTDS

 

 


Overview by TESP Director, David Magill

David Magill offered congratulations on behalf of the TESP Board of Directors and presented a videotape and information on the benefits of the TM program.  Here is an excerpt from his address.

"About 200 have gone through the program now and almost all who have started have also finished. What makes it work? How do we know it will keep working? I'll let you in on a little secret. Promise not to tell? It's so simple which is why it so hard to believe. The nature of the mind is to seek greater happiness, more fulfillment.  Greater happiness, more fulfillment, it turns out, can be infused in the mind by the simple technique of TM where the mind settles down, enjoying more and more charming experience. Through that simple experience, simplest form of awareness we say, the body also settles down to a state of deep rest, very relaxed. That deep rest and simplest form of awareness allows the release of the accumulated strain and tensions that you've accumulated over so many years of frustration and hard living. That stress and strain made it more likely for you to fly off the handle at what seemed the slightest provocation. When that stress is gone, or shall we say, some good part of it is gone, you naturally gain a wide angle vision. More opportunities are seen when previously you would have just felt hopeless and thought this was a good excuse for a drink or some drugs.”

You can read his full text here.

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Probation Officers from St Louis and Illinois

 

Dave Jennings, Probation and Parole Officer,
Liaison Officer between TESP and
Probation and Parole Dept, St Louis



A number of probation officers from the Probation and Parole Department in St Louis came for the occasion. We specially welcomed Mr. Richard Perdun, Chief Probation Officer of Jersey County, Illinois, who accompanied Hon. Judge Russell at the graduation. Mr. Dave Jennings, the Probation and Parole Officer who acts as liaison officer between the Department of Probation and Parole in St Louis and TESP, offered congratulations on behalf of his department.  His remarks included the following comments:

"Before Farrokh hands out the certificates I wish to congratulate all the graduates on behalf of the State of Missouri Department of Corrections and Probation and Parole.  The very first time I usually get to see the graduates is at the TESP Orientation meeting.  On that day I see them very, very skeptical with a lot of questions:  “How am I going to get through the program?  How am I going to get through the classes?   Is my probation officer going to work with me on this program?”  At that time, I try to reassure them, not as much as meditation, but as much as I possibly can.  But it’s so nice to actually see after the TESP sessions these graduates today sitting proudly, refreshed and confident in what they have just got accomplished on probation."


Read the text of PO Jennings' remarks here.
 

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Front right: Bob Ferguson, Kay Ferguson (partly hidden);
Derald Gab, JD and members of the audience


Reception

In keeping with tradition, Mr. Derald Gab, JD, sponsored a delicious buffet after the graduation ceremony.  Mr. Gab is a member of the TESP Advisory Board and he has been offering this service since the founding of the TESP eight years ago.  We warmly acknowledge Mr. Gab's contribution to our many graduation celebrations.

 

 

Website re-designed and content updated

You may have noticed that our website has a new look.  Our Project Manager has improved her skills with courses in Web Development and in Digital Imaging, which will result in a much better web site.  We hope the new format is more reader-friendly and informative.
 

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Acknowledgements

The Enlightened Sentencing Project wishes to express its appreciation to the friends and supporters of the Project who continue to make it possible for our work in the field of consciousness-based rehabilitation to continue.  Those of you who volunteered time or treasure for the past year are featured on our page entitled  Thanks.
 

With warmest good wishes to all, especially to our supporters who have made it possible for us to come this far.  Together we will bring the light of consciousness-based rehabilitation across America and beyond. 

 
Farrokh & Ruffina Anklesaria

 

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Quotes

"It is a very opportune time when the experienced people in the field of law have begun to realize that something may be added in the realm of law to fulfill that long-felt need to strengthen and make law capable of really producing order everywhere, in every country, in every culture, so as to make the family of nations really rise to evolutionary trends of life and establish perfect order for everyone."
Maharishi

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"The success of transcendental meditation as a therapeutic tool of the criminal justice system is not merely anecdotal.  Studies have been conducted in maximum security prisons in the United States and in other countries around the world which demonstrate the almost miraculous effectiveness of this technique.  The evidence is that this technique of meditation, consistently and conscientiously practiced, can transform lives permanently for the better."

Hon. Judge Thomas Russell
Apr 22, 2004

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The Enlightened Sentencing Project was a 501 (c) 3 organization and was not affiliated with the national Transcendental Meditation organization.