We connect prisons with nature.
The Sustainability in Prisons Project (SPP) is a partnership founded by The Evergreen State College and Washington State Department of Corrections. Our mission is to bring science, environmental education, and nature into prisons. We conduct ecological research and conserve biodiversity by forging collaborations with scientists, inmates, prison staff, students, and community partners. Equally important, we help reduce the environmental, economic, and human costs of prisons by inspiring and informing sustainable practices.
This union of ideas and activities – and people inside and outside prison walls – creates a collaborative, intellectually stimulating environment in which incarcerated men and women play key roles in conservation and advancing scientific knowledge. We encourage teamwork, mutual respect and a stewardship ethic among individuals who typically have little or no access to nature or opportunities in science and sustainability. Our vision is not only to save tax dollars and natural resources, but also to help offenders rebuild their lives for the benefit of all.
Although each endeavor and corrections institution is unique, our experiences point to five Essential Components for every SPP program:
1. Partnerships and collaborations with multiple benefits
2. Bringing nature “inside”
3. Engagement and education
4. Safe and sustainable operations
5. Evaluation, dissemination, and tracking