The Prairie Zen Center currently provides prison outreach services at four of the Central Illinois Correctional Centers, Login CC and Lincoln CC, both in Lincoln, IL; Illinois River CC in Canton, IL; and Graham CC in Hillsboro, IL. They are led by Al Daijin Kamnick.

Our resident teacher is Elihu Genmyo Smith, the first Dharma Heir of Charlotte Joko Beck and co-founder of the Ordinary Mind Zen School. Our schedule includes weekly sittings, periodic workshops, and sesshin six times a year.

Prisons Served: Central Illinois Correctional Centers, Login CC and Lincoln CC, both in Lincoln, IL; Illinois River CC in Canton, IL; and Graham CC in Hillsboro, IL

Al Daijin Kamnick

The Prison Meditation Project organizes meditation programs in prisons in the San Diego area. We offer programs including meditation and council practices that can offer transformation for those who are incarcerated and for those who serve the criminal justice system.

Prison Meditation Project has been going into Donovan for 10 years. We meet once or twice a month for three hours of meditation, council and movement (tai chi or yoga).

Prisons Served: Richard J Donovan Correctional Facility (RJD) and George F. Bailey Correctional Facility

Dale Laney

Many prison inmates write to San Francisco Zen Center seeking support in beginning or maintaining their Buddhist studies and practice. We offer free Buddhist literature and find pen-pals for inmates interested in regular correspondence about Buddhist practice.

Jeffrey Schneider

Operates three groups in maximum security prisons in Florida: Hardee C. I., Bowling Green; South Bay C.I., South Bay; and Glades C.I.; Belle Glade. Cushions and altar materials have been accepted by the chapels and are used to create a zendo when programs run. In one of the prisons the group’s relationship with the administration has allowed the men to meet daily. Visits every two weeks and full day programs every 2-3 months. Many sangha members correspond with inmates and assist those who have been released.

Mitchell Doshin Cantor

Rev. Khyati Penney Johns: I am a Sensei working with a group of Women at Taycheedah Correctional Institute (Maximum Security) in Wisconsin.
I currently offer weekly meditation and two yoga classes to any inside woman who requests the opportunity.

Rev. Meru Doug Szper: I meet twice a month with men inside serves Kettle Moraine Correctional Institution for a “Buddhist Studies Group”. I also work with men from the Wisconsin Truth Project at Oshkosh Correctional Institution and Racine Correctional Institution in Wisconsin.

Prisons: Taycheedah Correctional Institute and Kettle Moraine Correctional Institute and Oshkosh Correctional Institute and Racine Correctional Institution

Using PMI’s Path of Freedom Curriculum as a base, we facilitate weekly meditation sessions in a Brisbane maximum security prison.


Arno Hess

The Village Zendo is a Zen community in the heart of downtown Manhattan. Serving as a sanctuary in this busy world, we offer meditation, services, retreats, workshops and study groups. Participation is open to all.

Meditation program at Sing Sing.  We do a 1.5-hour meditation program
and service there each Sunday.

A Jesse Jiryu Davis

Prison chaplaincy and hospice work.

Frank Tedesco

Prison Dharma sharing practice and is essentially pen-pal support for prisoners practicing in the Thich Nhat Hahn/Plum Village tradition.

Upaya Prison Outreach

The Upaya Prison Outreach Project is a non-profit organization organized under the tax exempt umbrella of the Upaya Zen Center, based in Santa Fe, NM. The mission of the Project is to teach meditation and other mindfulness practices as a means of ending the cycle of addiction, violence and incarceration for men, women and youths.

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