New National Teams
Development of a SPP Network is underway, co-led by SPP Washington and Utah’s Initiative to Bring Science Programming to the Incarcerated (INSPIRE). Funded by a grant from the National Science Foundation, we hosted a national conference in September, 2012. Forty-five participants representing eleven states, counties and national organizations, and thirty-three organizations and institutions in corrections, academia, sustainability, conservation, social justice, and correctional industries joined thirty-four partners from SPP-Washington on The Evergreen State College campus for two days. Activities included tours of programs at three western Washington prisons, presentations on SPP-WA history, tips for success, management strategies, program evaluation, and ideas for the SPP National Network. The visiting state/regional teams presented on their existing and planned programs. Each team also sought out new partnerships and connections, and began work on Action Plans for implementing or expanding programs based on the SPP model.
Nine different correctional agencies (OR, CA, MD, UT, OH, and WA states; Multnomah, Los Angeles, and Santa Clara Counties) met again in March, 2013 in Salt Lake City, Utah for the second phase of the national conference. Each presented on their progress and their state/regional Action Plans, and we were gratified and impressed to see how far they had advanced since the first meeting, and with their plans for the future. With their successes, we feel renewed confidence in propagating the SPP model.
These nine teams serve as our primary collaborators at the national level. SPP-Washington and Utah’s INSPIRE encourage the multiple SPP sites to share their expertise with each other, and to act as mentors to incoming SPPs…yes, more SPPs are in the works!
We have also been fielding communications with other states (AL, AZ, CO, FL, GA, IL, IA, KY, MI, NE, NM, NY, NC, PA, TX, VA, VT, and WV) and countries (France, Scotland, Mexico, Moldova, Botswana, and Saipan). At the same time that we have been growing nationally and internationally, the original SPP has matured to a state-wide effort. SPP programs are flourishing in all twelve WDOC prisons, and many new programs are in the works. The excitement for the growing SPP Network is infectious.