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The Kinship is initiating a new project, the Prisoner Interaction Project (PIP), in partnership with the Prison Book Project (PBP). Many offenders from across the country request books from the PBP and have been offered spiritual direction in that tradition to which they resonate. Over the past 15 years, an Inayati Order Representative has been guiding offenders across the country in their spiritual growth and has found, for the most part, a longing to develop greater realization of the inner life that often propels them into a more peaceful and successful outer life, both in and out of prison. Most individuals, given the opportunity and support will become better world citizens than when incarcerated. A comprehensive mentor training program has been developed for those wishing to serve the incarcerated community. Through his work in the Prison Book Project, this Representative is finding more and more offenders seeking spiritual guidance and support.
The acronym, PIP, is defined as a kernel. As Murshid Inayat Khan wrote: “To a little band of sowers has been given a handful of living grain. Faithfully it must be sown; surely it will be reaped; and the harvest shall be for the sustenance of all who are hungering for the Bread of Life.”
The Kinship Activity is seeking individuals, both within and outside of the Inayati Order to commit to a low-cost weekend training on mentoring offenders. Once trained and certified, these servant leaders would begin working with an offender requesting mentoring with whom they can communicate by mail or email (if the offender’s prison system allows email) and establish a rapport and bond. In addition, the certified mentor may offer spiritual direction IF s/he has been initiated as a Representative//Guide in the Inayati Order or Sufi Movement. The only difference between guiding mureeds and offenders is that the offenders are not initiates in the Order, as a system of prison initiation has not yet been promulgated. Offenders are children of God, like our murids.
An Introduction to the Mentor Training may be found HERE and a Mentor Application may be completed online HERE.
For further information or for questions, please email us.
The Kinship Activity encourages you to investigate this source of deep and rewarding service to those far less fortunate than we.
"The moment a prisoner feels that he will no longer remain in the prison, the prison bars must break instantly."
- Hazrat Inayat Khan