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Re: Inmate Labor & Gardening

  • Subject: Re: [cg] Inmate Labor & Gardening
  • From: Adam36055@aol.com
  • Date: Sat, 1 Jan 2005 05:23:59 EST

"GreenHouse on Rikers Island continues to counteract stereotypes about our
penal system.

The program offers men and women inmates an innovative jail-to-street program
using horticulture as a tool to help redirect lives in a positive and
productive manner. The program provides inmates with horticultural training
hands-on experience in designing, installing, and gardening. The inmates have
transformed a neglected site in the sprawling jail complex into a small oasis.
Butterfly and bird gardens, a medieval style herb garden, a large vegetable
garden, native woodlands, a pond and waterfall flowing from a gazebo, and a
pagoda are a few of the features students have built and redesigned since our
program began.

The program serves about 85-100 students every year.While many ex-offenders
have strong intentions to turn their life around, the reality of finding work,
providing for a family, and coping with a demanding market place often leads
them on a path back to jail. The first few months after their release are
crucial to their success in creating a productive life free of crime.

HSNY provides ex-offenders with support to help them apply what they've
learned at GreenHouse. Upon release, they prepare and send out risumis, hone
interviewing skills, and learn about and follow up with other needed
such as educational or vocational training, or drug-counseling
programs.Through our network of relationships with after-care programs and
employers, we've placed ex-offenders with private employers, public agencies,
non-profit organizations, in college, and in halfway houses. In addition to
inmates find jobs or programs, HSNY also offers GreenHouse graduates
internships with GreenTeam, our transitional horticultural and vocational

This program is made possible through the generous support of our supporters,
which include American Express, Louise and Arde Bulova Fund, Burpee, Dorr
Foundation, Jean & Louis Dreyfus Foundation, EPA, Charles A. Frueauff
New York Community Trust, Ostgrodd Foundation, and Panaphil Foundation, as
well as individual donors.

Please contact James Jiler, Director of GreenHouse, for more information.
The Horticultural Society of New York
128 West 58th Street
New York, NY 10019-2103
Tel: (212) 757-0915 Fax (212) 246-1207"

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