The introduction to the Safe Environment Policy says that “Dharma Rain Zen Center (DRZC) affirms that all children, youth and vulnerable adults have the right to pursue spiritual practice in a safe environment. Therefore, DRZC is committed to providing an environment in which these individuals are safe from abuse and neglect, and can receive support and protection if they disclose a history of abuse or neglect.”
The policy outlines procedures dealing with issues of abuse and neglect as well as procedures for Registered Sex Offenders (RSOs) to get permission to participate in DRZC-sponsored activities or to become a member.
The Safe Environment Committee (SEC) and the Board have recently looked more closely at the RSO section of the policy (the last several pages) and have made revisions to clarify the procedure. DRZC sangha has historically welcomed those being released from prison, and studies show that those who feel part of a community have a lower rate of re-offending. Our prison grads bring their unique experiences to the sangha, and many already feel a strong connection to DRZC because of practice they did while in prison.
The SEC and the Board have worked hard to craft a policy that keeps the sangha safe and also supports those wanting to continue their meditation practice with us. Please look over the policy, and talk with Eric Kosen Johnson (chair of the SEC), Jyoshin Clay (chair of the Board) [jyoshin at dharma-rain.org], or Genko Rainwater [genko at dharma-rain.org] or Gyoshi Kaplan (co-coordinators of the prison program) if you have questions.