On this page we offer a sampling testimonials and writings shared with us by incarcerated individuals who work and learn in SPP programs. You may also hear their voices in many of our posted videos.

Quotes

Education

“This is real education—student-centered learning in an environment where “Each one, Teach One” is our Mantra. The students are inspired to “be more” simply because they are involved in the process of their own learning.” ~ instructor for Roots of Success

“I’m done living life in a daydream and I’m ready to fight for what it is that I want.” ~ Roots of Success graduate

“We can’t say what the problem is without being part of the solution.”~ student of the Environmental Workshop Series.

A student smiles during an environmental workshop at Washington Corrections Center for Women. Photo by Ricky Osborne.

Work with Rare and Endangered Species

“I know I’ve said it before but it’s always worth mentioning. SPP and its Butterfly program got me through one of the toughest, if not the toughest, time in my life. Being able to get away from the chaos, learn something new and utilize my skills gave me some peace and a chance to be a little “normal” even if only for a short time.” ~ former Butterfly technician (post-release)

“This is hands down the best job available in the whole camp…I’m truly at peace here.” ~ Biological Science Technician, CCCC

Turtle Technician Anglemeyer laughs during a program meeting at CCCC. Photo by Ricky Osborne.

Sustainable Practices

“As a prisoner, I have always felt like I was a drain on society. But now, through the Sustainable Practices Lab and the water department, I am able to be a part of something that is literally saving lives throughout the world. In the process, it’s saving my life as well.” ~ Sustainable Practices Lab technician and Roots of Success instructor, Washington State Penitentiary

“Working in the worm farm has been a growing experience for me.  I have grown in my knowledge and wisdom of sustainability and what it means to have a positive impact on the environment even while incarcerated.  It has also improved my ability to have sustainability in my life upon release.” ~ Composting technician, Monroe Correctional Complex

Two technicians in the worm program at Monroe remove worms from worm castings; their motto is "No worm left behind." Photo by Sadie Gilliom.

Two technicians in the worm program at Monroe remove worms from worm castings; their motto is “No worm left behind.” Photo by Sadie Gilliom.

Community Contributions

“I know I’m a part of something really good right now. And it feels really good, because it’s been a while since I’ve been a part of something that makes a difference.” ~ cat handler, Mission Creek Corrections Center for Women

“Never in my life—and I am 60 years old—I never in my life wanted to get up and go to work until I got this job.”
~ teddy bear program founder at the Sustainable Practices Lab, while sewing teddy bears from reclaimed fabric

“It feels really good. We can give back to the community and feel good about it. Plus, we know that the younger generation is learning on computers we built.” ~ Computers 4 Kids technician at Airway Heights Corrections Center

Technicians in the Sustainable Practices Lab describe their program areas, Washington State Penitentiary. Photo by Ricky Osborne.

Articles by incarcerated authors

2017

New Biological Science Technician Position, and One of the Newest is Feeling Thankful

Letter from one of the Roots Master Trainers

Finding Elysium

What growing sagebrush means to me

Roots of Success Gains Momentum at Airway Heights

Cedar Creek Turtle Release 2017

Excellent Student and Teacher

2016

The Bridge to Evergreen (formerly incarcerated)

A Master of Training

Turtle 4176’s Release

Adding Salt to Popcorn: Gaining a taste for sustainability

Just Sustainability and Restorative Justice

Accountability: Brainstorming article

Healing people and the environment

Reaching the Unreachable

Sustainability & Justice

In Service to the Earth

Tales of Transformation

SPP Internship on Reentry (formerly incarcerated)

Larch’s First Turtle Release: A Technician’s Response

A Technician’s Experience in a Room Full of Frog Scientists

No More Phones

Roots of Success Graduation Speech – Larch Corrections Center

2015

From Poop to Employment: Jonathan Jones-Thomas shares his experience returning to prison as a guest lecturer (formerly incarcerated)

Roots of Success Graduation Speech

Cedar Creek Gardens

The Effects of Believing

The Taylor’s Checkerspot Butterfly Program Releases Another Butterfly

Working with the Oregon Spotted Frog

Impact!

Each One, Teach One

“Hard Time Café”

2014 and earlier

A Convicts Redemption

The Smell of Hope

Worm Farm Wisdom

Conservation and Service from a Member of the Prairie Crew

WCCW’s Science & Sustainability Lecture Series: An Inmate’s Perspective

“Root View”: My Experience as a new Roots of Success Instructor

Inmate perspective on a prison garden project

Perspectives from an Inmate Service Dog Trainer at Cedar Creek Corrections Center

Composting and the Prison Experience

Stormwater presentation at WCCW: Inmate blog

Inmate Frog Technicians Experiment with Cricket Rearing

December Butterfly Update

The Women’s Village: A Source of Change for Incarcerated Women