free inside & articles

Free Inside is the name given to the program I developed to help people in prisons nurture their own self healing, inner peace and compassion for others.  It taps into many global healing traditions including yoga, meditation, breath-work, and energy movement in the form of 
chi gung. It is simple to understand, to practice, and to teach.  It has undergone a research study which resulted in evidence of its efficacy in increasing physical-mental wellness, self esteem, hope and compassion, and in decreasing depression, in participants. I have written a simple Guidebook for Facilitators of Free Inside Prison Programming (with drawings by Lila Roo, 2005) which contains within it a Guidebook for Practitioners to be easily copied and handed out to students.

I am happy to provide this text, free of charge, to any who may find it useful.   It can be linked below on this page.

A number of news articles and one peer-reviewed journal article have been published about Free Inside, written by me and by others. Reading these paints a full and human picture of the philosophy behind, and daily workings of,  Free Inside.  Most of these articles may be accessed directly here, and others, plus more of my writings, may be requested by contacting me.


Duncombe, E., Komorosky, D., Wong-Kim, E., Turner, W. (2005). Free Inside: a program to help inmates cope with life in prison at Maui Community Correctional Center. California Journal of Health Promotion, 3(4), 48-58.
CA Journal research.pdf

Nagle, M. (2005, Nov/Dec). Free Inside: the ancient arts of yoga, meditation and chi gung taught by Betsy Duncombe. UMaine Today, 18-21.
UMaine Today .pdf

Duncombe, E. (2004, October). Free Inside: Study in the Efficacy of a Prison Program to Encourage Self Healing, Inner Peace, and Compassion in Inmates at Maui Community Correctional Center. Master's Thesis.
‘Free Inside’ research final  copy.doc

Duncombe, E., with Duncombe-Lieber, L. illustrations (2005) Guidebook for Facilitators of Free Inside Prison Programming.  Maui / Maine, 130 pages.
2014 Free Inside Guidebook #1 .doc
2014 Free Inside Practice Guide #2.doc

Duncombe, E. (2004, May/June). Compassion is at the core of prison program in Hawaii. Offender Programs Report, 8(1), 1-16.
OPR #1-sm.doc

Duncombe, E. (2004, July/August). Free Inside: week-by-week details of a program at the Maui Community Correctional Center. Offender Programs Report, 8(2), 19-26.
OPR #2-sm.doc

Duncombe, E. (2005, Jan/Feb). "Free Inside" prison program encourages self healing, inner peace and compassion: a research study.  Offender Programs Report, 8(2), 65-80.

Duncombe, E. (2005, September). Training resources: a guidebook for teaching in prisons. & Transforming anger in prisons. Yoga Therapy in Practice, 1(1), 12.

Fontaine, W. (2005, August 22). Yoga helps inmates find calm, gain strength. 
Bangor Daily News, B1-B4.
Bangor daily : free inside- sm.jpg

Pignataro, A. (2004, February 26). The prisoner position; can yoga work behind bars? Maui Time Weekly, 7(35) 10-11
MauiTime - sm.doc

Ayala, R., Duncombe, E. et al (2002). Family Reunification Program: KHAO/MCCC, Maui, Hawaii