Program Examples

The numbered lists following each Essential Component give examples of actions, projects, and programs to satisfy that component (and often others as well!). These examples are listed from least complex to most involved. These are not intended to be comprehensive lists —we will add more examples as new SPPs develop.

More than a hundred SPP partners gathered for a two-day statewide SPP summit in April, 2015. Photo by Zandra Jones.

More than a hundred SPP partners gathered for a two-day statewide SPP summit in April, 2015. Photo by Zandra Jones.

1. Partnerships and collaborations with multiple benefits

Examples of adding partnerships and collaborations to your programming (from least complex/involved to most):

  1. Identify science or sustainability team members at your organization (folks with an interest in sustainability or environmental issues)
  2. Create a green team at your institution
  3. Establish a partnership with a corrections facility (focus on finding common ground and mutual benefits)
  4. Partner with an education institution (focus on finding a willing faculty member for your SPP team)
  5. Create a SPP team in your region
  6. Consult with a sustainability expert on how to design, improve or expand a sustainable operations program (also satisfies Safe and Sustainable Operations)
  7. Establish clear program roles for each member of the SPP team (written or diagram form)
  8. Provide opportunities for staff to make suggestions and initiate projects and programs (also satisfies Engagement and Education)
  9. Provide opportunities for inmates to make suggestions and initiate projects or programs with support of staff or partners (also satisfies Engagement and Education)
  10. Establish internship or volunteer programs to involve students or other volunteers (also satisfies Engagement and Education)
  11. Identify opportunities for students to conduct thesis research or senior projects that are mutually beneficial for the student, academic or conservation organization, and the prison or jail science/sustainability program (also satisfies Engagement and Education)
  12. Hire graduate or undergraduate students for any or all of the following: the SPP staff lead for a program, coordinating a lecture series, creating or contributing to a research project, work on publicity and outreach, data entry, updating protocols, etc. (also satisfies Engagement and Education)
  13. Identify potential conservation, science, sustainability or community partners
  14. Partner with a conservation scientist on captive rearing for an endangered species (also satisfies Bringing Nature “Inside”)
  15. Partner with a social scientist for evaluation (also satisfies Evaluation, Dissemination, and Tracking)
  16. Send inmate crews off-site to contribute to ecological restoration, sustainability projects, or community (also satisfies Bringing Nature “Inside”)
  17. Identify and obtain outside funding from grant or foundation sources
Visitors from across the country tour the aquaponics program at Cedar Creek Corrections Center at the first SPP Network conference. Photo by Shauna Bittle.

Visitors from across the country tour the aquaponics program at Cedar Creek Corrections Center at the first SPP Network conference. Photo by Shauna Bittle.

2. Bringing nature “inside”

Examples include (from least complex/involved to most):

  1. Install houseplants in staff areas, living quarters, and shared spaces
  2. Install fish tanks in staff areas, living quarters, and shared spaces
  3. Provide inmates with photos of nature scenes or wildlife in conjunction with attendance at a lecture or workshop event or as incentive for participation in other programs
  4. Provide inmates with science and conservation articles from the local environment (also satisfies Engagement and Education)
  5. Brainstorm science and/or sustainability programs that could be offered at your prison or jail and develop a ranked list of priority programs
  6. Establish and maintain native and ornamental landscaping on the facility grounds with interpretive signage including plant names and descriptions (also satisfies Engagement and Education)
  7. Establish and maintain vegetable, herb or flower gardens and/or fruit or nut orchards
  8. Hold a regular science and/or sustainability film showing
  9. Offer horticulture programs which contribute food to facility operations or charities (also satisfies Engagement and Education)
  10. Partner with other organizations to provide canine and feline rescue programs (also satisfies Engagement and Education)
  11. Provide nature imagery for staff areas in intensive management and mental health units
  12. Provide nature imagery for inmates in intensive management and mental health units
  13. Establish a beekeeping program
  14. Collaborate with a scientist to create and display annotated images of local native plants and animals and evaluate staff and inmate responses (also satisfies Partnerships and Collaborations, Engagement and Education, and Evaluation, Dissemination, and Tracking)
  15. Offer regular conservation lectures and workshops (also satisfies Engagement and Education)
  16. Establish endangered species and/or ecological restoration programs in partnership with relevant conservation organizations and regulators (also satisfies Partnerships and Collaborations and Engagement and Education)
  17. Allow and facilitate minimum security inmates access to conservation/restoration sites to “complete the circle” (also satisfies Engagement and Education)
  18. Conduct science research with inmates as partners (also satisfies Partnerships and Collaborations and Engagement and Education)

 

Graduates of the Roots of Success environmental literacy class receive congratulations and certificates acknowledging their achievements. Photo by Joslyn Rose Trivett.

Graduates of the Roots of Success environmental literacy class receive congratulations and certificates acknowledging their achievements. Photo by Joslyn Rose Trivett.

3. Engagement and education

Examples include (from least complex/involved to most):

  1. Identify science and/or sustainability education opportunities and goals
  2. Identify and plan to implement programs that provide inmates an opportunity to contribute to the community and/or the environment
  3. Install interpretive signs to educate staff, the public and/or inmates and explain “why” a project or task is being done e.g. install a sign above the food waste receptacle explaining how scraping your plate will reduce costs and environmental impacts.
  4. Provide information about science and/or sustainability projects, programs, or initiatives throughout prison or jail (i.e. inmate living units, bulletin boards, staff break rooms, public entrance, etc.)
  5. Provide science & sustainability books, articles, handouts or other resources to staff (also may satisfy Safe and Sustainable Operations)
  6. Provide science & sustainability books, articles, handouts to inmates (also may satisfy Safe and Sustainable Operations)
  7. Provide staff with the trainings, webinars, conferences, or other educational opportunities necessary to support and implement science and sustainability programs. (i.e. composting training, Green Prisons.org webinar etc.) (also may satisfy Safe and Sustainable Operations)
  8. Provide a one-time or regular monthly science or sustainability workshop or guest lecture for inmates and/or staff
  9. Hold a sustainability fair or Earth Day event for inmates and staff
  10. Plan family-friendly events focused on science or sustainability related topics e.g. an event for kids and parents with guest speakers discussing wildlife (also may satisfy Bringing Nature “Inside”)
  11. Take actions to emphasize the importance of tasks and “Opportunities To Contribute” (OTCs)– i.e., how involvement influences and contributes to the broader community and/or restoration efforts
  12. Create or use existing science and/or sustainability curriculum to educate inmates
  13. Develop SPP overview documents to educate staff, partners, and potential funding sources (also satisfies Evaluation, Dissemination, and Tracking)
  14. Create a regular newsletter to highlight science and sustainability programs and staff and inmate contributions to programs (also satisfies Partnerships and Collaborations and Evaluation, Dissemination, and Tracking)
  15. Provide reference letters and job skills information that inmates may use on résumés
  16. Provide green job skills training programs (also may satisfy Safe and Sustainable Operations)
  17. Offer inmates science and/or sustainability jobs at the prison or jail that include education regarding how and why programs are implemented (also satisfies Safe and Sustainable Operations)
  18. Establish conservation jobs at the prison or jail that include education regarding how and why programs are implemented (also satisfies Bringing Nature “Inside”)
  19. Offer science and/or sustainability-related certification programs recognized outside of prison
  20. Provide employment opportunities for inmates to work on science and/or sustainability programs post-release

Gardeners at Larch Corrections Center sort their harvest for a local food bank. Photo by Zachary Kaufman.

Gardeners at Larch Corrections Center sort their harvest for a local food bank. Photo by Zachary Kaufman.

 4. Safe and sustainable operations

Example initiatives include (from least complex/involved to most):

  1. Identify and reduce use of products you may be purchasing only to throw away i.e. Styrofoam, trash can liners, unpopular food items, etc…
  2. Ensure that visiting scientists, sustainability experts, volunteers, and partners are provided safety training and clear expectations for working inside a corrections facility
  3. Develop a sustainability plan for your institution
  4. Use low tech and no tech solutions to equipment and facility needs: repurposing an unused shed for a composting program, aerating the compost pile by hand-turning, reclaiming leaky buckets for storing wood chips, etc…
  5. Develop sustainable/green purchasing plan for products
  6. Encourage staff to reduce travel
  7. Encourage all staff and inmates to consider the 4 Rs in everyday decisions: reduce, reuse, recycle and rethink (also satisfies Engagement and Education)
  8. Post signage for sustainable operations – how-to’s and information about environmentally friendly practices like the 4Rs (also satisfies Engagement and Education)
  9. Implement a recycling program
  10. Develop water and energy conservation plans
  11. Establish a data tracking system to monitor use of water, energy, waste and other resources (also satisfies Evaluation, Dissemination, and Tracking)
  12. Conduct energy retrofits
  13. Identify and implement Energy Service Company (ESCo) projects, alternative energy, and other energy mitigation strategies
  14. Find experts in sustainability to consult on ways to improve efficiency and cost savings (also satisfies Partnerships and Collaborations)
  15. Establish bicycle, wheel chair, or other repair and repurpose programs (also satisfies Engagement and Education)
  16. Establish zero waste garbage sorting centers, on-site composting and vermicomposting systems staffed by inmate technicians (also satisfies Engagement and Education)
  17. Establish rainwater catchment, effluent reuse systems, or other water conservation projects
  18. Develop closed loop systems (i.e., aquaculture, energy production) staffed by inmate technicians (also satisfies Engagement and Education)
  19. Develop and implement a program to purchase as many products as possible from local sources
  20. Remodel and build to meet LEED certification standards
  21. Build using green roofs and permeable surfaces
  22. Reuse gray water

Partners from DOC, The Evergreen State College, and the Institute for Human-Animal Connection at University of Denver pose for a photo after discussing a proposal to determine social impacts of SPP conservation programs. Photo by DOC staff.

Partners from DOC, The Evergreen State College, and the Institute for Human-Animal Connection at University of Denver pose for a photo after discussing a proposal to determine social impacts of SPP conservation programs. Photo by DOC staff.

5. Evaluation, dissemination, and tracking

Include (from least complex/involved to most):

  1. Present or table at a conference, symposia, lecture, or community event
  2. Establish a data tracking system to monitor use of water, energy, waste, and other resources
  3. Partner with a social scientist, education researcher or psychologist to develop an evaluation plan (also satisfies Partnerships and Collaborations)
  4. Provide regular updates (at least monthly) via website, social media, network list serve, , video, or other media
  5. Ask new contacts what attracted them to SPP (including what materials or coverage they saw)
  6. Create a Project development plan that includes priority programs, actions, team members, timeline, etc…
  7. Hold an annual sustainability fair for staff, inmates, and partners (also satisfies Partnerships and Collaborations)
  8. Establish a Project newsletter to update inmates, staff, partners, and other stakeholders
  9. Invite the media to cover an event or program
  10. With guidance from a social scientist, evaluate emotional, behavioral, and/or attitudinal impact of science and/or sustainability programs on inmates and/or staff (also satisfies Partnerships and Collaborations)
  11. Survey staff & partners on program quality & effectiveness
  12. Survey inmate participants on program quality & effectiveness
  13. Share evaluation results with SPP Network and stakeholders (also satisfies Partnerships and Collaborations)
  14. Provide science or sustainability programs involving inmate family and/or friends
  15. Publish articles in peer reviewed journal, trade publication, or popular media source
  16. Apply for Human Subject Review with proposal to study effects of SPP programming on staff and inmate participants
  17. Apply for Human Subject Review with proposal to study effects of former participants of SPP program post-release
A tilapia technician at Stafford Creek Corrections Center monitors multiple environmental conditions to ensure the health and productivity of the fish. Photo by Ricky Johnson.

A tilapia technician at Stafford Creek Corrections Center monitors multiple environmental conditions to ensure the health and productivity of the fish. Photo by Ricky Johnson.