Using Gardening to Teach Life Skills to Jail Inmates Mike Maddox Horticulture Educator Rock Co. UWEX
RECAP Garden Program Garden works in partnership with Rock County Sheriff’s Department RECAP= Rock County Criminal Addictions Education Program Started in 2006 USDA Grant (2006-2009) Rock, Milwaukee, Waukesha Counties Similar programs offered across the state
Primary Goals Develop employability skills Positive behavior Appropriate communication Task completion Working independently and as a team Responsibility Data collection and reporting (ie. time cards)
Additional Goals Personal-wellness Safe, constructive environment Sensory stimulation Physical activity Introduction to a positive and constructive activity Role-modeling Nutrition education
Impact "Getting out of unit and away from same four walls - keeps my mind occupied and not think of bad stuff." Steven. “My wife and kids go to Echo [food pantry]. Even though I’m in here, I still feel like I’m providing for them.” Chip.
Impact “I need to be a good role model for my kids… I like that the garden gives back to the community…” Chris. “I already know how to rototill… it’s now learning how to work with others.” Gary.
Impact “… vegetable soup really ain’t all that bad! I did not pick anything out of it and I ate it all. I would NEVER even try it had I been on the outside.” Tammy. “There was noticeable improvement in attitude after the inmates ate the vegetable soup for lunch in the unit.” Lyle Yaun, RECAP Community Service Coordinator.
Impact “…before this, my idea of cooking was going through the drive thru at McDonalds." John. “…I never knew where food came from. When I get out, I want to go to culinary school at [the tech-college]." Ebert.
Impact "I learned how to enjoy life's simple pleasures." Carlos. “…I never had a garden before but would like to have one now that I know more.” Carl.
Impact “It’s good to actually do something positive with my life. It has showed me there is a lot more to life than drugs.” Josh.
Future Added to CALS and Cooperative Extension 2010 federal plan of work for the new national priority Global Food Security and Hunger. Specifically, fits under helping improve the lives of vulnerable populations by pairing prison garden produce with WIC farmers' market vouchers