The Jusan Prison Outreach Program in Arkansas

February 22, 2003

Source: The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

On February 22, 2003 The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reported that "in January 1993, [Anna] Cox, as then-president of the Ecumenical Buddhist Society of Little Rock, didn't know what to expect when she received a letter from a Buddhist inmate from Rogers seeking help with his meditations. She had no idea her communications with [convicted murder Frankie] Parker would head her life in new directions and spawn an international prison outreach program... The Jusan Project (named in memory William Frank Parker, whose Buddhist name was Jusan, pronounced 'joosawn' ) and the Dharma Friends newsletter have become major projects supported by the Ecumenical Buddhist Society. The international newsletter reaches out to about 400 people monthly, most of them inmates... And a new book by Cox, Dharma Friends: No One Abandoned, No One Forgotten, No One Discarded, recounts Cox's relationship with Parker and includes stories of inmates who knew Parke... as well as stories of 'free world' people who came to know him through prison visitations."