James Fox is the founder and director of the Prison Yoga Project, an organization dedicated to establishing yoga and mindfulness programs in prisons and rehabilitation centers worldwide. Since 2002, he has been teaching yoga and meditation to prisoners at San Quentin Prison as well as other California State prisons. He has developed a special program for incarcerated military veterans using innovative approaches to address various mental health issues related to trauma including P.T.S.D. His book, Yoga A Path for Healing and Recovery, published in January 2010, has been requested and sent to over 10,000 prisoners. He provides trauma sensitive, mindfulness based teacher trainings in the U.S. and internationally for yoga instructors interested in facilitating classes in prisons and rehabilitation facilities. He has broad and extensive training in various yoga and meditation disciplines and is specially trained in applying yoga practices for addiction recovery and trauma related issues.
Upon receiving his teaching credentials in 2000, he began his mission of exposing at-risk populations including the incarcerated to the psychologically therapeutic benefits of yoga and meditation. In addition to his work with adult prisoners, he has experience teaching yoga and mindfulness practices to at-risk youth in juvenile detention, at a residential treatment facility for boys, and for an inner city, gang-related, community program. In 2003, he established the yoga curriculum for the Peacebuilders Initiative, an annual weeklong summer intensive for Chicago teenagers that focuses on youth learning community leadership, conflict transformation and peacemaking skills.
James has also worked with a leading restorative justice agency involved in prisoner rehabilitation. He has several years of experience as a facilitator of victim/offender education, violence prevention and emotional literacy classes for prisoners. In 2008 and 2009, he was awarded U.S. State Department Grants to advise and train people in charge of governmental and non-governmental prisoner rehabilitation programs in Guatemala and El Salvador. He currently serves as an advisor to the National Institute of Health sponsored Chicago Urban Mindfulness Program that has a component at the Cook County Jail.