Evden eve taşıma eşya depolama buy threads likes deneme bonusu seo hizmeti ofis taşıma bonus veren siteler Second Chance - 菩薩寺 IBS

Second Chance

12170514_10206494009447919_900949269_nLooking back on your life, what second chances have you had?  Have you ever had someone’s forgiveness at a time you needed it most?  Maybe for mistakes made in your marriage or at work, or moral decisions made in error?

A few years ago a friend introduced me to the IBS prison program.  What attracted me to the program was that I knew that the crime rate was high and prison was expensive ($47,000 tax dollars per inmate annually in California).  I saw the program as not only helping inmates find inner peace, but also helping society by providing them a measure of rehabilitation.

Then an experience in my own life changed my whole perspective.  I was enjoying a happy and simple life when I was the target of a false accusation in a civil lawsuit.  The case was brought by a skillful opportunist, and I was inexperienced in how to defend myself.  I find myself now facing the possibility of losing my home.  I feel hopeless and spend many nights awake.  This lawsuit is devastating to my family.  My life is now defined as before and after this event.  I always thought I was a survivor and would be okay in any environment.  I now feel I could live in a third world country but can’t survive the US legal system.  It is costly and complicated.  One of the most disheartening moments was when my own attorney told me, “there is no truth, only  winners and losers in court”.  I never wanted to believe there is no justice but this is what I am experiencing.

My case is a civil lawsuit but I can only imagine experiencing this in the criminal court system.  An aspect of this process I never expected was that as someone accused of wrongdoing I have been treated from the start as a guilty person by everyone including the judge in my case.  Not only is this humiliating but the associated stigma has had an effect on the outcome of my trial.  I started this dark journey as someone with good standing in my community and a good reputation.  Consider someone with an imperfect past facing criminal charges.  If I can feel hopeless and disenfranchised, imagine their position.

We think about inmates in prison, often our first images are the worst of the worst.  There are those we feel are truly evil, and for whom there is no hope of rehabilitation.  The fact is, though, that these cases are the minority in the prison population.  So, how can we explain the overcrowded prison?

“The United States has less than 5 percent of the world’s population. But it has almost a quarter of the world’s prisoners. The United States has, for instance, 2.3 million criminals behind bars, more than any other nation, according to data maintained by the International Center for Prison Studies at King’s College London.  “Most state court judges and prosecutors in the United States are elected and are therefore sensitive to a public that is, according to opinion polls, generally in favor of tough crime policies. In the rest of the world, criminal justice professionals tend to be civil servants who are insulated from popular demands for tough sentencing.  “Unfortunately, a lot of the answer is democracy — just what Tocqueville was talking about,” he said. “We have a highly politicized criminal justice system.”  ~ U.S. prison population dwarfs that of other nations. The New York Times~

Today, most of the state governments have to deal prison overcrowded issue.  And we all know lock in prison is not rehabilitation.  The International Bodhisattva Sangha (IBS) began the Prison Program since 1995.  The main goals is to educate inmates in the state prions about Buddhism, meditation and the right way of life.  Through dharma education, many inmates found their inner peace and spiritual comfort.
IBS is a small organization, and all the funding comes from generous donations from supporters.  With $10 per month donation. IBS will have opportunity to reach more inmates, giving them strength and courage on their path in becoming a contributor to the community when they are released.

My experience taught me, there is nothing better for the compassion than reaching down and lifting people up. It’s benefit for the giver and receiver. After all, we all deserves a second chance.


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