nother key aspect of The Way to Happiness' success lies in the arena of criminal rehabilitation. If you can help an individual see how moral conduct will improve his survival, then you better his chances of improving his own behaviour by his own free will. It is the single most effective way to produce lasting change.
With inmates in more than 2,000 prisons around the world studying the book on any given day, hardened criminals are routinely reformed through a rehabilitation programme known as Criminon
, which uses The Way to Happiness
as the heart of its curriculum.
The Way to Happiness programmes have been implemented in some of the worst prisons in the world. Witness a Mexican state prison, where 80 percent of the offenders were heavy drug users and the recidivism rate was 70 percent. After the implementation of The Way to Happiness, recidivism fell to 10 percent at the facility.
Similar results were achieved in South Africa, where recidivism in maximum security prisons fell to an astonishing zero. The success of the programme "has been remarkable," writes a Pretoria chief magistrate with jurisdiction over 39 judges and 55 courts, "[T]he workload of the juvenile court has dropped from 30 cases per month to just two, the rest were successfully diverted away from the criminal justice system."
This Mexican prison course room has seen as many as 500 inmates at one time participating in the Criminon programme, which incorporates L. Ron Hubbard's drug rehabilitation and criminal reform breakthroughs and includes the application of The Way to Happiness precepts. Among its most ardent supporters are corrections officials, as well as area law enforcement officers.
Accompanying the judge's accolades is a letter to Criminon signed by the Minister of Justice of South Africa, which cites the enormous impact that Criminon plays in rehabilitation: "[T]his programme is so important to us — and the world — that we've brought it to the direct attention of the United Nations so that every courthouse in the world may benefit."
In the USA, a local businessman, along with the mayor of Harlingen, Texas, conducted a citywide "Set a Good Example Contest," where school-age children did projects based on The Way to Happiness to improve the community. As part of the campaign, every family in the city of 60,000 received copies of the book and instructions on how to participate.
Subsequently, the local Police Department's 1998 annual report showed crime had fallen in almost every major category, and no murders had occurred in the city for an entire year. Though the local police force was at a loss to understand how it happened, their chief could only suggest that changing values in the homes and streets had contributed to the decrease — exactly the objective of The Way to Happiness.
Through these grassroots campaigns and more, The Way to Happiness has helped tens of millions of people face the challenges of daily living by offering common-sense solutions for common problems. The guidelines in The Way to Happiness give an individual a road map to follow toward a happier and safer life. It is unique in that it strips away the false ideas some may have about why "it is okay" to be immoral — and it makes clear why honest conduct actually leads to better survival and a more joyous existence. Here is common sense, cast in a code that can be followed and kept. And like a ripple on a water's surface, the benefits and changes produced and experienced by those who read and use the book spread far and wide, out into the community, bringing peace and calm, dignity and respect — and ultimately a higher quality of life.