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  • For their own good
    Fifty years ago, they were screwed-up kids sent to the Florida School for Boys to be straightened out. But now they are screwed-up men, scarred by the whippings they endured. Read the story and see a video and portrait gallery.
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Lockup: Yoga
Inside the concrete classroom, Hillsborough jail inmates follow instructor Natalie Peart's direction during Yoga and Literacy of the Heart. Some of the 15 women gladly test their physical limitations. A few watch quietly from the sidelines. "A lot of these women have never been to a yoga studio before," says Julie Dumois-Sands, who came up with the idea for the program. She collaborates with Prana Vinyasa School of Yoga to bring in volunteers. Inmates also meet once a week for book discussions, art and journal writing. They examine their pasts, which reveal the usual themes: drug addiction, theft, multiple arrests. Now confined inside Orient Road Jail, they learn new techniques for coping with life's difficulties. "We imprison ourselves with our stories and our histories," Dumois-Sands adds. "So yoga and book discussion is about exploring different paths to who we are and possible paths of liberation." Plus, stereotypes are broken. Ask inmate Destiny Armstead, who is now an enthusiastic practitioner. "I thought Yoga was for old, rich people," says Armstead, age 31. "I'm not old. I'm not rich. I love it."