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A Buddhist Chaplain at Rikers Island

Updated: May 26, 2020

Justin von Bujdoss is a Buddhist lama and Rikers Island’s first Staff Chaplain. Ahead of starting his role in September, he reflects on what Rikers Island is, and what it needs.

This September, I will start as the single Staff Chaplain for the 9,000 Correction Officers and 1,400 support staff at Rikers Island Correctional Facility. Rikers Island is the largest of New York City’s jails, with around 100,000 detainees passing through annually and anywhere between 9,000 and 10,000 detainees at any given point in time. The island itself is home to nine facilities, housing men, women, and adolescents in a variety of phases of detention. It is also a departure point for people who, once sentenced, will serve time upstate.

To continue reading this article in Lion’s Roar by  Justin Von Bujdoss, click here.

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