Prisoners look inward to discover personal freedom.

Emmanuel Samoglou: A few weeks back, while Stephen Harper was on the hustings selling a tough-on-crime agenda, Sister Elaine MacInnes was in a Brampton prison hugging convicted criminals.

“I hugged them all,” the 87-year-old Catholic nun and Zen master says warmly, recalling her visit with about 50 inmates at the Ontario Correctional Institute, where she conducted a meditation class.

Sister Elaine — as she’s widely known — is the founding director of Freeing the Human Spirit (, a registered charity that provides yoga and meditation programs to inmates in provincial and federal correctional institutions in Southern Ontario. A Zen master of the Sanbo Kyodan, based in Kamakura, Japan, she spent 32 years in the East, … Read more »