Yoga Behind Bars

Yoga Behind Bars (YBB) shares trauma-informed yoga and meditation with people involved in the criminal justice system to promote rehabilitation, personal transformation, and a more just society for all.

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Address: PO Box 84494
Seattle, WA 98124-5794
Phone Number: 206-783-0403
EIN: 20-8867242
The work of Yoga Behind Bars is about much more than yoga classes. Our programs rehabilitate, build safer communities, and contribute to the reform of the American corrections system.

Over the past nine years YBB has helped thousands of incarcerated women, youth, and men transform their lives through our trauma-informed yoga and meditation programs. In 2008, YBB offered 1 weekly class in Seattle's downtown jail. Today we are a statewide organization in 15 correctional facilities in 8 WA counties, often reaching remote facilities where there is limited or no rehabilitative programming. Through the work of 70+ certified and YBB trained volunteer teachers, including inmate teachers, YBB offers classes to people in mental health units, solitary confinement, seniors, veterans, Drug Offender Sentencing Alternative programs (DOSA) and corrections staff.

The breadth and depth of our curriculum, along with our partnerships with like-minded organizations and the Department of Corrections, is revolutionizing Washington State prison culture and is a national model. Our approach to compassionate rehabilitative programming is intended to shift the culture in prison from punishment to healing, transformation, and reintegration. Ultimately, we aspire to end the cycle of suffering caused by incarceration.

More than 2.3 million people are incarcerated in the United States, that's more than the entire population of New Mexico. 97% of prisoners return to their communities, but unfortunately 67% will return to prison within 3 years of their release. There is a critical need for programs to responsibly prepare people to return to society and live meaningful lives. YBB programs play a significant role in the solution, and our programs demonstrate that we are changing the social trajectory of thousands. Through our programs, incarcerated people can reclaim their humanity and resilience. Our students report that they become better parents, neighbors, and citizens in our communities.

YBB has been locally and nationally recognized by implementing the first ever Yoga Teacher Training in Prison in which 10 incarcerated men earned 100 hours of training to become leaders in their prison communities; by teaching yoga for college credit classes in partnership with the Freedom Education Project Puget Sound; through our Executive Director's leadership invitation to the Yoga Service Council, and by recently winning 1st place for an established non-profit through the Social Venture Partners' Fast Pitch competition.

We are inspired and grateful to play a crucial role in the movement towards a more just and restorative prison system. At this exciting time for Yoga Behind Bars, we hope you will join us in creating healthy, safe and just communities behind and beyond bars.
Our heartfelt thanks to the RiverStyx Foundation for fueling an extraordinary journey. YBB could not do this work without you!
Thank you also: Act of Giving, Raynier Family Foundation, Norcliffe Foundation, and Seattle Foundation. So much love to our students behind bars, our 80+ volunteer instructors, yoga studio partners, and all the AMAZING donors who really make everything possible.

...and deep bows of gratitude to our incredible Board of Directors

President: Nicole Tsong, Yoga Teacher, Seattle Times Columnist, Author of Yoga for Climbers and Yoga for Hikers
Vice President: Julian Saucier, Recovery Innovations
Secretary: Johnna White, University of Washington Women's Center, Yoga Instructor
Treasurer: Cedra DuFlon-Heide, Management Consulting
Kate Garrow, Martin Luther King County Labor Council, Deputy Executive Director
Nydelis Ortiz, Gravity Payments
Julian Saucier, Recovery Innovations, Health Counselor