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Healing Women in Prison with author Veronica Shaffer

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Sandy Andrew

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The growing number of women in prison has alarmed taxpayers, child welfare advocates, human rights activists, and policy makers. Veronica A. Shaffer, the author of the new book, I Hear Your Cry: Women in Prison, takes readers into the heart of a women's prison, where Shaffer went to teach prisoners skills designed to release them from their emotional and physical jails. Her belief that the benefits of yoga and meditation could empower women who had experienced powerlessness and trauma, kept her pushing to establish a fitness and wellness program at a prison, despite bureaucratic obstacles, a less than ideal teaching environment, and an initially skeptical group of security officers and students. Shaffer graduated from Johns Hopkins Hospital as a radiologic technologists and later studied the healing arts with noted teacher Elizabeth Stratton. She achieved certification as a yoga practitioner and teacher, and in 1984 began a long, happy marriage to Edward Shaffer. She has also led spiritual odysseys to Egypt, Nepal, Tibet and India. www.veronicashaffer.com

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