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Study: Nature Can Help Prisoners


Seeing videos of nature can lower levels of hostility among prisoners, and perhaps cause less aggressive habits, according to a new study.

Researchers of the study, provided at the American Psychological Association’s 124th AnnualĀ Convention, examined the impact of viewing nature videos on 48 inmates in a cellblock at the Snake River Correctional Institution in Oregon. Half of the prisoners 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 worked as the controls, did not view the videos.


The study authors found that the prisoners who enjoyed the nature videos reported less emotions like distress, hostility and nervousness. Detainees who watched the videos had 26% less violent violations compared with inmates who did not watch the videos, though the videos can’t be shown to be the cause of this modification.

In a statement about the findings, the study authors report that the videos are now being used in other parts of the jail due to their success.

As TIME previously reported, scientists are significantly finding the healing effects of spending time with nature and the outdoors. Studies have shown that individuals healing from surgical treatment do so faster if their space is near a window, and nature has also been displayed in research studies to lower high blood pressure, promote cancer-fighting cells and help ease signs of anxiety and stress and anxiety.