CRIMINON is a program for rehabilitating prisoners using L. Ron
Hubbard 's teachings.
Criminon International, a non-profit ,
public-benefit corporation managing the
Criminon program, was spawned
Narconon International in 2000, and is part of Association for
Better Living and Education 's public outreach programs.
promoted by the Church of
Scientology International . Independent
experts contend that methods used by the program are not supported by
any scientific studies.
Second Chance , another prison-based rehabilitation program for
inmates, is closely related to Criminon, from which it licenses the
techniques and materials used in its program.
Criminon is said to be a prison-based version of
Narconon , as the
Purification Rundown detoxification and training procedures are a part
of both programs.
* 1 Criminon\'s program
* 2 Controversies
* 3 See also
* 4 References
* 5 Further reading
* 6 External links
The program has used correspondence materials to treat hundreds of
prisoners at the high security
California State Prison, Corcoran ,
beginning in 1990.
Criminon is administered by the Association for
Better Living and Education (ABLE), a nonprofit organization that
Narconon , and other "social betterment"
The program includes courses with questions requiring written
answers. The responses are evaluated by volunteers and the materials
are donated, so the program is provided free to the state. Included in
one pamphlet is an essay in which
Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard
writes, "There is not one institutional psychiatrist alive who by
ordinary criminal law could not be arraigned and convicted of
extortion, mayhem, or murder."
Hubbard's 1981 booklet,
The Way to Happiness , is an integral part of
the program, setting forth precepts such as "Do not take harmful
drugs", "Be faithful to your sexual partner", "Do not tell harmful
lies", "Don't do anything illegal", "Do not steal", and "Do not
Criminon is also available under the name Second Chance, which
Some critics question the long-term success of Criminon's program
citing a lack of independent, peer-reviewed studies. As Criminon's
website notes, the core of the prison program is the booklet The Way
to Happiness .
In 1997, Judge Stephen Rushing, a
Pinellas County, Florida , judge,
received criticism and raised eyebrows from other judges when he began
sentencing defendants to a program called "Impulse Control" that was
run by Criminon. Rushing said the people running the course promised
they would not try to convert anyone. However the paper noted that
many critics have suggested that
Criminon was being used as a
recruiting tool. Rushing stated that if the program turned out to be
nothing but a ploy to promote Scientology, "I owe an apology to the
people I put in that program."
Criminon has also been criticized for promoting Scientology's hostile
view of psychiatry . A
Criminon instruction manual found at
Prison in 2005 instructs the supervisors who are
supposed to be helping the inmates to encourage them to stop taking
any psychiatric medication. "Most jails and prisons have a staff
psychiatrist that goes in daily and gives dosages of various and
sundry mind-altering drugs to the inmates. Most of the time this is a
ploy to keep the inmates sedated so that they don't cause trouble",
the manual stated. While
Criminon claimed that this manual was
"outdated", the replacement manual still advised that if inmates
seemed angry, it may be because "some of them are on psychiatric drugs
and have strange side effects as a result." Professor Stephen A. Kent
said that Scientology's goal "is to destroy psychiatry and replace it
with Scientology's own treatments.
Criminon is simply one of many
Scientology organizations that hope to see this goal realized."
In 2006, in
New Mexico , government funding for the Second Chance
program was cut when information on the program and its connections
came to light.
Nevada assembly member
Sharron Angle supported the use of
Second Chance Program " in 2003. Angle sponsored legislation aimed
at placing this program in women's prisons in Nevada.
* ^ "Form 990". 2000. 2001-11-20. Retrieved 2007-09-01.
* ^ A B C Garcia, David Alire (2009-06-16). "Taking Chances". Santa
Fe Reporter. Retrieved 2007-09-01.
* ^ A B Neff, Erin (2003-02-14). "Lawmakers shy away from prison
project". Las Vegas SUN, Inc. Retrieved 2009-06-16.
* ^ "Prozac Frees Ex-
Scientology Leader from Depression". The
Psychiatric Times. CME, Inc. June 1991. p. 1.
* ^ A B C D E "Scientologists Reach Behind Bars", 29 May 2005, Los
* ^ A B Craig Pittman "Classes for defendants have ties to church"
St. Petersburg Times
St. Petersburg Times February 2, 1997 pg. 1
* ^ L. Ron Hubbard, "Crime and Psychiatry", 1969.
* ^ "Drug-rehab deal linked to politics, Scientology" (video). KRQE
News 13. 2006-08-29. Retrieved 2007-01-16. Albuquerque, New Mexico.
* ^ A B Vogel, Ed (February 14, 2003). "Lawmakers urged to skip
trip to view prison program".
Las Vegas Review-Journal . p. 7B.
* Second Chance Center Preliminary Process Evaluation Study, Paul
Ph.D. October 2008. Prepared for: State of
New Mexico and the
Second Chance Center. University of
New Mexico , Institute of