How Nature Can Help Prisoners

lush green rain forest.

Source: Time

By Alexandra Sifferlin

Inmates who watch nature videos have fewer violent infractions

Watching videos of nature can reduce levels of aggression among prisoners, and possibly lead to fewer aggressive behaviors, according to a new study.

Researchers of the study, presented at the American Psychological Association’s 124th Annual Convention, analyzed the effect of watching nature videos on 48 inmates in a cellblock at the Snake River Correctional Institution in Oregon. Half of the inmates were shown videos of things like forests, the ocean, rivers and fireplaces with burning logs three to four times a week for a year. The other group of inmates, which served as the controls, did not watch the videos.

The study authors found that the inmates who watched the nature videos reported fewer emotions like distress, aggression and nervousness. Prisoners who watched the videos had 26% fewer violent infractions compared to inmates who did not watch the videos, though the videos can’t be proven to be the cause of this change.

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