Q2.Venerable, how did you become involved in the prison visitation program?
Ven.: I came to the US at the end of 2007. In January of 2008, I joined Mr. And Mrs. Tam and began visiting Calipatria State Prison, which is about 3 hours away from San Diego. Later we expanded the program to include a second prison, Pleasant Valley State Prison, which is approximately 5 1/2 hours away. In 2009, we added Chuckawalla Valley State Prison, which is roughly 4 hours away, near the Arizona border. Later, we added Centinela State Prison. This prison is the shortest distance from us, 2 hours away. Currently, our prison visitation program includes these 4 prisons.
Q3. Venerable, you started with one prison. How did the program progress to its present condition?
Ven.: Prison inmates can be transferred between prisons within California. There was one inmate at the Calipatria State Prison, a dedicated student, who felt really enriched by the program. When he was transferred to Pleasant Valley State Prison, he formed a Buddhist group and shared what he had learned.
Subsequently, he requested our support be extended there. This is how we expanded to four locations.