Growing Gardens; Blooming Prisoners
Following my experiences in the SF County Jail about a week ago, I’m exploring various forms of rehabilitation for inmates. Gardening seems to be an effective way for prisoners to focus on life; the demand for gardening duty is very high in prisons across the United States.
Gardening offers useful ways to give back to communities, such as providing fresh produce to obesity and poverty-stricken people. Prisoners feel like they have found the good inside them again, and that is priceless.
Not only does gardening provide job opportunities, it can reduce rates of recidivism (relapse into criminal behavior) from 4 in 10 to 1 in 10. Interestingly, gardening can minimize hierarchy and encourage teamwork between prisoners and wardens, which makes life better for both sets of individuals. Nature is a teacher for us all, and prisoners and prison staff are no exception.