May 17, 2010

"Getting a taste of freedom": Inmate Locavores

Via tasteoflocal and Change, Te-Ping Chen reports that allowing inmates to farm their own vegetables offers them valuable skills to use upon reentry and may decrease violence within the prison.

According to the article, Corrigan-Radgowski's prison warden reports that at his facility "prisoners grow all the flowers used in the facility's landscaping. What's more, he says, he's also seen a drop in violence among prisoners who are assigned to work in the garden. It keeps them busy and productive, he says: "Some of these guys haven't seen a fresh vegetable in 15, 20 years."

An individual who participates in that farming program remarked , "This is the best job in the prison, no doubt," Maynard said. "We get a little taste of freedom out here and we get to utilize our days, and give something back."

There also seems to be some real cost saving potential for states that utilize these programs as well. "In Florida, during the first quarter of 2010 alone, the prison farming program saved taxpayers $60,000." For more information on prison farming programs, click here.