Mission: We empower sustainable change by bringing nature, science, and environmental education into prisons.


In response to the dual crises of ecological degradation and mass incarceration, we aim to reduce recidivism while improving human well-being and ecosystem health. SPP brings together incarcerated individuals, scientists, corrections staff, students, and program partners to promote education, conserve biodiversity, practice sustainability, and help build healthy communities. Together, we reduce the environmental, economic, and human costs of prisons.


collaborate * learn * cultivate * grow * thrive

What that looks like

Butterfly technicians visit one of the program’s release sites. Photo by Keegan Curry.

The Sustainability in Prisons Project (SPP) is a partnership founded by The Evergreen State College and Washington State Department of Corrections. With vital input from many additional partners, we develop and deliver a wide range of science, sustainability and environmental education programs in all 12 Washington State prisons. Recent highlights include:

Technician Brian Bedilion pulls a tray of wetland plants out of the aquaponic bath. Photo by Ricky Osborne.

“I never did well in school and my skills were more on the manual labor side. While I was incarcerated at Cedar Creek Correction Center in 2015 thru 2018 I was given the opportunity to discover that I was wrong.”

Darin Armstrong, former SPP conservation technician

“What does science mean to me? Science is the study of the world around us…I would not want to experience life without science.”

Morris Talaga, SPP conservation nursery teaching assistant

Read more writing by incarcerated partners.

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