By Alex Smith
Kansas City, MO – The word penitentiary originally comes from penance and the religious idea of redemption through punishment. Many inmates find religion to be one of the few sources of comfort and, for some, if can be life-changing. In US prisons, the Christian chaplain has been a common figure, but today, inmates might be offered the services of a Rabbi, an Imam or a Buddhist Lama. The Prison Dharma Network, which is one of several organizations that brings Buddhism to prisons, has over 1200 members worldwide. Alex Smith has this story of a former Kansas prisoner who says Buddhism saved his life. Alex also spoke with a who teaches Buddhism in prison, Lama Chuck Stanford of the Rime Center in Kansas City, MO.