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Info on Prison Gardens

  • Subject: [cg] Info on Prison Gardens
  • From: Beth Waitkus bethwait@yahoo.com
  • Date: Wed, 11 Dec 2002 20:38:50 -0800 (PST)

Hi everyone:

I am currently in the process of transforming a prison yard into a landscaped recreation/garden area. I've had to jump through hoops in an incredibly bureaucratic system to get buy-in to the idea, and now that we finally have consensus, we start on design and implementation.

Our hope is that providing gardening and landscaping skills to the inmates, they will be able connect with their own creativity, gain a sense of accomplishment and pride in their work, and be able to leverage these skills once they leave the prison system.  We believe that the act of caring for plants will transfer also to the inter-personal realm; when you grow plants, you also grow people -- hopefully into responsible community members.

I am interested to find out if anyone has experience doing this kind of work with inmates at other prisons or with ex-cons working in community gardens; curriculum used, and especially if you know of any studies of the impact of gardening on inmates. 

Any advice, suggestions or ideas would be more than welcome.

Many thanks,
Beth Waitkus

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