A searchable directory of the network of organizations, associates and groups providing meditation, mindfulness or contemplative programs in prisons around the world.
If you are looking for organizations or groups in your area providing prison dharma programs inside prisons, please explore this directory.
If you are an organization, group or individual that provides prison, meditation, yoga (or other contemplative) programs and are not yet listed in our Prison Dharma Network Directory, please click here to submit a listing for your project. We get hundreds of requests a year from people looking to volunteer in local programs and/or people seeking help for prisoners. We provide this directory of the network of those doing prison work to help those looking to connect with local resources and/or a way to get involved locally in prison work.
If you would like to volunteer in one of our local PMI projects in Massachusetts, Colorado or Rhode Island please fill out our application here.
Winter Feast for the Soul Prison In-Reach Program (www.winterfeastforthesoul.com) is dedicated to creating a global community through a shared 40-day commitment to a daily spiritual practice of meditation or prayer. The 40-day period runs from Jan. 15 - Feb 23.
In 2009 a small Buddhist Sangha in Boise, Idaho brought Winter Feast brochures to the local men‘s incarceration center, where they were teaching meditation. 10 prisoners signed up for the Winter Feast that year. This started us thinking about how we could support incarcerated individuals with finding inner peace by developing a spiritual practice. Since then, we have expanded our outreach through a journal for prisoners known as Freedom Inside and individual coaching. Our outreach program now includes about 50 volunteer spiritual practitioners or coaches who correspond regularly with prisoners who would like support with their spiritual practices during the Feast and year-round.
We are what our name says that we are – Association of Happiness for All Mankind. In other words: “Our Name is our Purpose.” Introduces the teachings of Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi and A. Ramana, AHAM’s founder and spiritual director, to prisoners. Prisoner Correspondence Program, book donations (The Handbook to Perpetual Happiness, Living Free While Incarcerated), Power of Awareness training. AHAM’s teaching is primarily disseminated through its literature, prison visitations, written correspondence and implementation of programs.
Our mission is to empower people to lead nonviolent lives through affirmation, respect for all, community building, cooperation, and trust.
Founded in and developed from the real life experiences of prisoners and others, and building on a spiritual base, AVP encourages every person's innate power to positively transform themselves and the world.
AVP/USA is an association of community based groups and prison based groups offering experiential workshops in personal growth and creative conflict management. The national organization provides support for the work of these local groups
AVP is a nationwide and worldwide association of volunteer groups offering experiential workshops in conflict resolution, responses to violence, and personal growth.
AVP is dedicated to reducing the level of violence in our society. Our goal is to reduce the level of violence by introducing people to ways of resolving conflict that reduce their need to resort to violence as the solution. The Alternatives to Violence Project is designed to create successful personal interactions and transform violent situations. We're dedicated to teaching the same non-violent skills and techniques that were used by Mohandas Gandhi and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
We do our training where violence is found.
Our workshops use the shared experience of participants, interactive exercises, games and role-plays to examine the ways in which we respond to situations where injustice, prejudice, frustration and anger can lead to aggressive behaviour and violence.
An AVP workshop can help you to:
manage strong feelings such as anger and fear
deal more effectively with risk and danger
build good relationships with other people
communicate well in difficult situations
recognise the skills you already have and learn new ones
be true to yourself while respecting other people
understand why conflict happens
Provides weekly trauma-informed mindfulness classes at York Correctional Institute. Also developing curriculum for working with young men recently released from prison in the New Haven, CT area.
Prisoners are offered a free copy of the Bhagavad-Gita and accompanying correspondence course, with personal help and guidance from Dr. Ramanand Prasad, director of the American Gita Society. The hard-cover edition of the Gita is available free to prison libraries.
The Ananda Marga Universal Relief Team
For almost ten years, Ananda Marga volunteer Steven Landau has run a weekly yoga program at Wake Correctional Center in Raleigh, North Carolina. This voluntary two hour class includes Ananda Marga instruction on yoga postures, philosophy, kirtan, and meditation. Once a month, the prisoners are even treated to a vegetarian meal. Many participants have responded positively to the classes, reporting less aggression and higher levels of relaxation and physical well being.
In 2008, Landau reported findings in a study published in the International Journal of Yoga Therapy correlating regular attendance of prison yoga classes with a much lower rate of re-incarceration. 190 inmates of varying race and religious beliefs attended at least one class, and 54 of those returned several times, attending at least four classes. Of the released men who frequented classes, only four (8%) were subsequently re-incarcerated, compared to the 28 men (25%) of the non-frequenting group who found themselves back in prison within 2-3 years.
Joined a growing number of volunteers, the program has expanded to six jails and prisons for both men and women across the state of North Carolina, with plans to expand even further and reach inmates at every correctional facility in the state.
These findings suggest that yoga can be taught safely in correctional facilities, and that offenders can use these classes to better themselves physically and seek out a more peaceful and relaxed life. Those who utilize this program lessen their chances of falling victim to what is often a cycle of repeat offending and multiple visits to prison.
Angulimala Buddhist Chaplaincy serves those not served elsewise; primarily veterans, prisoners, ex-convicts, homeless. I am the volunteer Buddhist chaplain for the Seattle VA Hospital, and a student of Koro Kaisan Roshi. If you have not been able to find a sangha home or are unable to get to one, please call or email.
To make available facilities for the teaching and practice of Buddhism in Her Majesty’s Prisons and other places of lawful detention or custody.
To recruit and advise a team of Buddhist visiting chaplains to be available as soon as there is a call for their services;
To act in an advisory capacity, and to liaise with the Home Office chaplaincy officials, with individual chaplains within Her Majestys Prisons, and with any other relevant bodies or officials;
To provide an aftercare and advisory service for prisoners after release.
A small group of volunteers who serve as Buddhist Chaplains in the Los Angeles County Jails and the California Men’s Colony in San Luis Obispo.
Our prison outreach is at the Huron Valley Women's Correctional Facility. Our program consists of two components:
Buddhist Services every Sunday for 1 hour and 15 minutes.
We have a group of four leaders from our Temple who rotate doing the services. About eight women prisoners participate regularly. Two have taken the precepts and another is scheduled to take them this summer. Our services consist of meditation, chanting, and walking meditation followed by a half hour discussion of a dharma subject. These discussions are consistently enriching and thoughtful for all involved. In 2011 and 2012 we had one day meditation retreats that were attended by about 20 women.
Two facilitators also teach meditation classes. These are held weekly for 1 1/2 hours.
Around 75 to 100 different women have taken the classes over the last three years.
The class is presented as a secular practice although Buddhism does get a mention quite often. We teach many basic meditation techniques including breath counting, sound, relaxation, focus on emotions and thoughts; loving kindness. We lead guided meditations, give didactic instructions, and discuss meditation topics. Many women have reported that they are able to cope better with some of the stresses of prison with the help of these techniques.
Prison: Huron Valley Women's Correctional Facility
Prisoners served: 75-100 women