Volunteer Shares Otero Facility Success with State Representative

Volunteer Shares Otero Facility Success with State Representative

An associate professor at the University of Texas at El Paso recently sent a letter to New Mexico State Representative Willie Madrid sharing the success he’s seen at the Otero County Prison Facility (OCPF).

Kien Lim/Volunteer

“I am writing to let you know that I greatly appreciate the services OCPF provides for its inmates to attend spiritual classes in different faiths,” begins Kien Lim. “I encourage you to visit OCPF to see for yourself how OCPF treats its inmates and volunteers.”

Kien is the treasure of the Chenrezig Tibetan Buddhist Cultural Center (CTBCC) in El Paso. He is one of the original four volunteers from the organization that created the Buddhist study program at the MTC-operated facility in Chaparral, NM six years ago.

The volunteers have provided more than 200 classes on Buddhism and meditation since 2015 to residents who have chosen to participate. Since early 2021, the organization has provided 27 virtual classes via Zoom. About 50 residents have attended the virtual programs.

“I like to highlight that OCPF has been very supportive of its inmates in their spiritual progress,” writes Kien. “We were allowed to give Buddhist inmates religious books and contribute additional books and DVDs to the Buddhist group’s collection. OCPF has even made it possible for monks and spiritual teachers (who were invited to teach at CTBCC) to give teachings and blessings directly to inmates…In addition, OCPF has taken extra efforts to make it possible for inmates to celebrate religious holidays.”

Kien goes on to explain how the Otero County Prison Facility is genuinely concerned about the welfare of their residents.

“It is extremely rewarding to witness inmates’ progress in terms of inner peace, compassion, and spiritual growth. Religious volunteers are respected and valued at OCPF. The volunteer banquet allows religious volunteers from different denominations to socialize, feel appreciated, and have fun.”