We Are Building American Buddhism

Prison Dharma Network

11 South Angell St., #303
Providence, RI 02906
Website: www.prisondharmanetwork.org

Description of Organization

The Prison Dharma Network (Prison Mindfulness Institute) was founded in 1989 by Acharya Fleet Maull, a Buddhist then serving a 14.5 year mandatory minimum sentence in federal prison for drug trafficking. Through Buddhist meditation practices and spiritual teachings of various Buddhist teachings, Acharya Maull rehabilitated himself and dedicated his organization to provide meditation-based and/or contemplative prison ministry programs and outreach projects through a network which has over 180 organizational members and over 2200 individual members. The purpose is to assure that every prisoner who is inclined toward employing meditation, contemplative spirituality and other transformative practices has access to the teachings and resources they need to realize their aspirations. The Prison Mindfulness Institute works directly with prison chaplains and other corrections staff to assist them in understanding and providing for healing, educational and spiritual needs of the prisoners and staff of their institutions in the context of a restorative and transformative approach to corrections. Prison Mindfulness Institute supports prisoners in the practice of contemplative disciplines, with an emphasis on sitting meditation practice and the practice and study of Buddhist teachings and other wisdom traditions. It promotes these paths of wakefulness and nonaggression as ideal vehicles for self-rehabilitation and personal transformation. Prison Mindfulness Institute also provides mindfulness-based staff development training for corrections professionals.

Grant(s) Awarded

In September 2012 Prison Dharma Network received a $75,000 Pay It Forward Recoverable grant to create and execute a two-year major donor campaign to promote the field of Buddhism and meditation or mindfulness-based work in prisons, jails juvenile facilities and post-release and at at-risk youth programs and to increase development capacity.

The grant was approved to cover the costs of the Major Donor Campaign elements including:

  • Hiring of a fundraising consultant
  • Travel, communications, and event hosting expenses for regional Major Donor events
  • Production of fundraising materials
  • Mailing list purchases and all mailing costs
  • Design and production of a mindfulness-based intervention smart phone “app,” designed to drive traffic to Prison Dharma Network’s websites, social networking infrastructure, webinar channel, online donor pages and to support staff development programs.
  • Improvements to the fundraising functions and features of their websites.

The recoverable grant was paid in full in January 2015.