Frequently Asked Questions about Criminon

What is Criminon?

"Criminon" (meaning "without crime") is an international public-benefit organization which was established in New Zealand in 1972. It is a non-profit tax-exempt corporation operating within the penal system to rehabilitate criminals and prevent future criminality. It accomplishes this by educating individuals and helping them to restore their own self-respect, thereby enabling them to become ethical and productive members of society.

Criminon utilizes criminal reformation technology developed by philosopher and humanitarian, L. Ron Hubbard. Through many years of research, Mr. Hubbard discovered that a person truly becomes a criminal only after he has lost his self-respect. The restoration of the individual's appreciation of his or her own worth is accomplished by Criminon through its program


Who is L. Ron Hubbard?

L. Ron Hubbard was an author and humanitarian who dedicated his life to helping others.  His works cover subjects as diverse as drug rehabilitation, criminal rehabilitation, education, marriage and family and many other aspects of life.  Mr. Hubbard personally worked as a Special Officer for the Los Angeles Police Department in the late 1940's. Through his lifetime of research he wrote over 500 titles and delivered over 3000 hours of lectures on his research and findings.  As early as 1952 he began a criminal rehabilitation program with juvenile delinquents.

He is also the founder of Dianetics and Scientology.


What is Criminon's relationship to the Church of Scientology?

Criminon is a secular independently incorporated organization and is licensed to use Mr. Hubbard's social betterment technologies, including drug rehabilitation and criminal rehabilitation technology.  Mr. Hubbard did extensive research in this field and we are privileged to have the license to utilize his findings.

We are happy to have the support of the Church of Scientology and it's members because, like many other churches, their parishioners are very involved in community betterment programs and participate as volunteers.  There is also occasional direct financial sponsorship and donations from its many members as well as other individuals.

Criminon is not licensed to use and does not utilize the religious writings and technologies of Mr. Hubbard. It has the secular purpose of eradicating the scourge of crime, which plagues and often terrorizes our societies.


Is Criminon trying to convert people to any religion?

No. Criminon is a wholly secular organization and utilizes a wholly secular -- though extremely practical and effective -- non-religious moral code. We have a secular mission, compatible with any form of religious observance (or none) that the individual may choose.  Criminon respects the cultures,traditions and religious beliefs (or not) or the individual.


How does Criminon restore a person's self-respect?

L. Ron Hubbard wrote, "If you want to rehabilitate a criminal, just go back and find out when he did lose his personal pride.  Rehabilitate that one point and you don't have a criminal anymore."  By addressing this point of rehabilitation, Criminon is taking effective action to end the repeating cycle of criminality and reform the prison system.

The key element of the Criminon program is The Way to Happiness Extension Course, based on a booklet of the same name. As the first step toward rehabilitation, this correspondence course is designed to give students knowledge of right and wrong conduct.  A commonsense moral code, The Way to Happiness is practical and provides fundamental guides to behavior.  Students do practical exercises on our correspondence courses and mail them in to Criminon staff and volunteers who grade the exercises.  They maintain communication with the inmate and encourage him or her.  When the course is completed, Criminon issues a certificate.

There are other elements in the Criminon program, some of which are delivered to the inmates in prisons by staff and volunteers.  These courses deal with literacy, study skills, communication, overcoming antisocial behavior, drug rehabilitation and prevention, personal values and integrity and other life skills courses.  This effective program of courses is what restores the criminal's self-respect and his sense of responsibility to himself and his fellow man.  Criminon replaces the criminal code with a common sense code.


What is Criminon's involvement in medical and mental health matters?

The Criminon program is cognitive-behavioral therapy, not a medical or mental health program. We do not address medical matters but leave such matters to the determination of qualified physicians.

Criminon does not treat the mentally ill. We do not operate on-site programs in the psychiatric wards of prisons and inmates in such facilities would not normally qualify to do an on-site Criminon program.  We do not inquire about an inmate's mental health status when delivering the correspondence courses.  The only requirement for taking these courses is an ability to read and understand the materials.

Criminon strongly supports inmates getting appropriate care when they are ill.  This is, in fact, a metter addressed in the first lesson of The Way to Happiness course.  Should a medical situation come to our attention, Criminon will encourage the inmates to consult and cooperate with the appropriate institutional medical personnel.

Criminon is strongly opposed to the use of illegal, non-prescription drugs or to the illegal use or abuse of prescriptionmedication.  We encourage inmates with such problems to take these courses and cease the abuse of alcohol and controlled substances.  We have courses which can assist an inmate to quit such illegal drug use.


Do volunteers have to be specially trained?

It depends in which capacity they want to volunteer.  In order to be an instructor for the program, one would have to be trained on specific courses dealing with the subject.  Any new instructor would do the Criminon courses that they would supervise the students on.  This is to ensure that they have a subjective reality on the materials and what the courses can achieve with an individual.


Who funds Criminon?

Criminon is funded by donations from the public including individuals, businesses and interested community betterment organizations.  We also have government funding in countries outside the United States.


Where does Criminon spend its money?

Criminon is a non-profit 501 © (3) public benefit corporation and spends the money it receives on supporting its existing programs and expanding them to assist the thousands who reach for help.


Is Criminon soft on crime?

Criminon's view is that if a person commits a crime then they need to receive a penalty.  The penalty is often imprisonment and we are strong advocates for utilizing the time in prison to restore the criminal to good standing so that upon his/her release the criminal is a productive ethical taxpayer.  This ensures public and community safety and increases the morale of the society.


Where does Criminon operate?

The international headquarters of Criminon is located in Los Angeles, California; however, there are Criminon offices throughout the United States, Mexico, Europe, Russia and Australia. In 2005, for example, Criminon ran courses for more than 8,000 prsisoners in over 1700 prisons.  Additionally, it runs other criminal-related programs including programs directed to juvenile offenders (juvenile delinquents) with the aim of turning them away from their current path of crime.


Who works for Criminon?

Anyone can work for Criminon. In addition to Criminon staff, there are upwards of 1,000 volunteers around the world who contribute their time and energies to assist Criminon's mission. Their activities range from supervising inmate prison correspondence courses to working directly with inmates in prisons, with juveniles in juvenile detention facilities, in community crime education and prevention programs and in the administration of the Criminon organization itself. Your help is welcome! Criminon provides the specialized training for the administration of courses to inmates and other training as needed.


How can I start a Criminon program in my area?

You can purchase a "Criminon Starter Pack" which will take you step by step through the actions necessary to start a Criminon program.

Please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for more information on the "Criminon Starter Package"or to find out what you can do to help handle the problem of crime and to rehabilitate and salvage criminals.

More information on helping Criminon of Maine.