Hello everyone. I hope I am posting correctly! I am a new member of this network and I look forward to connecting with you. I coordinate Buddhist services at Folsom State Prison, Folsom and California State Prison, Sacramento. There are currently six volunteers and our prison sangha is about 50 men. I have been doing this for nearly four years. I look forward to hearing how all of you deal with so many issues regarding incarceration, and especially in the California prison system. With metta. Diane
Great to see you here! I would love to connect with you more about the CA prison system. I wonder if we want to create a CA prison system group. I will ask Kate. I have to run to take kids to school - but will post more later.
I live in Santa Cruz and have two dharma pen pals in New Folsom (also called Represa, or vice versa?) through SF Zen Center's Prison Outreach Program
I would like to know more about what is offered in the way of Buddhist services in Folsom so that I could direct my pen pals in that direction - if they wish. They may also be very connected with what is going on/what you are doing. I don't know - they are both relatively new pen pals. Anyway, thought I would ask.
I don't have much to offer at this point in direct response to your query. I may learn more as time goes on and I get to know my new pen pals - and their issues - better.
I just "graduated" a five-year pen pal from a state prison in Florida. Helping him survive and thrive on the outside seems ever so much more difficult! I would enjoy hearing from you or anyone else on this topic, as well.
Thank you so very much for all you are doing!
Dear Kristin and Laurie, I would really like to see a sub group dealing with the CA prison system! We have our work cut out for us.
Regarding Buddhist services at Folsom and SAC (Represa is the "city" name. For some reason they don't want to use the city name of Folsom.) Services are non-sectarian. We have Zen, Tibetan, Therevadan, Shingon volunteers and practioners. At SAC - (aka New Folsom) - your pen pal needs to get hold of the Catholic chaplain, Bill Goeke. Bill is a good guy and is NOT the person I was mentioning in another post about our sponsor at Old Folsom. Bill will add him to the ducat list. Let your friend know that CDC allows inmates only one religious preference... and they have to stick with that choice for a year. For Levels 2 and 3, we meet on the 2nd and 4th Tuesdays in the C yard chapel. We meet on Fridays (when volunteers are available) at noon with Level 4 inmates at B yard. Ani (who just joined this group) is B yard coordiantor. I coordinate C yard and services at Old Folsom. Hope this helps.
Regarding post release support... about six months ago, I heard that Buddhist Peace Fellowship is attempting to put something together in the CA prison system. I wrote and asked for more information esp. since I understood that Folsom Prison would be part of the program, but was told it is in the planning stages. I was told that I would be kept updated but have heard nothing since. Has anyone else?