Prison can be a lonely, isolating place. But in some cases, it transforms prisoners completely.
For example, an inmate who was a self-declared white supremacist used to walk around the prison with a chip on his shoulder, rattling off racist remarks at the non-white inmates, recalls prison chaplain Habeeb Ali. But after observing Muslim inmates fasting during Ramadan, the inmate had some questions, Ali said. The questions eventually led him to the Qur'an, and from there, to an embrace of Islam.
"And now he himself is seen as a leader, helping the inmate population, being an inspiration to the Muslim community, and finding himself on better terms with his family," said Ali, who is an Ontario-based prison chaplain.
For some inmates, religion is where they turn to cope with the temporary — and often not so temporary — loss of the life they once knew.