Prison gardens are not new, but this vegetable gardening program in San Quentin is really changing lives and futures for many prisoners.
It’s wonderful to see the difference that nurturing, being purposefully productive, and connecting with like-minded volunteers can make. I’ve had it pointed out to me by my very prison-knowledgeable friend KL (from an architect’s, not ‘inside’ perspective!) that the much lower recidivism rates claimed would be skewed by the selection of program participants but you still can’t help but revel in the delight and enthusiasm these men show.
Oh that more of our governments (and of course, the society they represent) realised that this kind of rehabilitation is of much greater value and long term benefit, both socially and economically, that prison punishment. Perhaps if I, or someone I know well had been a victim of a violent crime I’d want retribution too, but to what end?