Airway Heights Corrections Center (AHCC)

ProgramProgram Partners (Partner with DOC, Evergreen, or both)Recent highlights –
updated August 2019
Roots of Success, environmental courseRoots of SuccessLiaison described current cohort as “best class yet.” 237 Roots graduates since the program start.
BeekeepingMillers Homestead, West Plains Beekeepers Association, Washington State Beekeepers Association (WASBA)In past year, 17 incarcerated beekeepers passed Journeyman-level testing and co-authored WASBA’s Journeyman curriculum; AHCC incarcerated beekeepers club plans new initiatives with great staff support, for example: breeding queens, participating in USDA pest survey, building beekeeping equipment; certified 83 Beginner, Apprentice, and Journeyman beekeepers overall, including 11 staff members; 8 healthy hives.
Gardens: MainMaster Gardeners100,000 ft2 of gardens grew nearly 37,000 lbs of produce in 2016, all went to the prison kitchen; due to city water supply contamination, growing cover crops and flowers in 2017 and 18–will start growing produce again in 2019; adding 1/4 acre in 2019; four rows for native American programs: lavender, sage and sweet grass
Gardens: MinimumSecond Harvest Food Bank, Master Gardeners, and Gospel Mission20,000 ft2of gardens grew 4,140 lbs of produce in 2016; due to city water supply contamination, growing cover crops and flowers in 2017 and 18–will start growing produce again in 2019
Diversity GardenCultural groups grow food and flowers for their special events
Flower gardensThroughout the prison for human and wildlife well-being
Pollinator forage and habitatMillers HomesteadPollinator-friendly plantings throughout the main & minimum areas: flowers, herbs, pussy willow. Large woody debris (log!) and shrubby habitat in pond area
Sustainable Business SolutionsTeam of four supporting sustainability programs with data tracking and mapping (produce grown, # from garden to kitchen, soil types)
Large-scale compostingMain garden has large compost pile for food waste; waiting on funds to set up in-vessel system
Waste sorting & recyclingWaste ManagementTechnicians receive comprehensive on-the-job training and education provided by DOC staff and Waste Mgmt company; in past year, recycled ~160.74 tons of metals, cardboard, paper, and pin plastics.
Worm farm: MinimumMaster CompostersCompleted program move from Main to Minimum; may start new Main program inside a greenhouse.
SPL: QuiltingVOA (Hope House Women’s Shelter, Crosswalk Teen Shelter), Catholic Charities of Easter Washington, AHCC Medical End of Life PatientsRepurposing fabric in waste stream to create donation quilts; this year’s total is 95 quilts! 3 quilts went to AHCC Medical End-of-Life for terminally/deathbed inmates. The remaining 92 quilts were split between VOA (Hope House Women’s Shelter, Crosswalk Teen Shelter) and Catholic Charities (homeless outreach and shelter services)
Computers 4 KidsOffice of the Superintendent of Public Instruction, WA Department of Enterprise ServicesPast year, refurbished 3,984 for schools plus 11,252 to surplus; incarcerated technicians learn basic diagnostics and can test for certification, plus learn office skills (excel, access) and shipping skills (e.g., forklift experience)
Pawsitive dog training – prison programDiamonds in the Ruff, SpokAnimal, Spokane Humane SocietyMore staff and incarcerated participation this past year; ended 24th session in June with cumulative total of 175 dog graduates; dog re-union event bring together dog, new owners, and former handlers; program is 100% self-sustainable by community donations and fundraising with art and crafts projects donated to Spokane Humane Society
Firewood donationSNAP Spokane739 cords (!) donated July 2018 – July 2019; DNR provides wildland fire trainings and prison staff provide firewood and chipper trainings
Nature ImageryIncarcerated individuals in maximum security can opt to watch nature imagery; also offered by mental health staff during times of mental distress

Articles about AHCC


Life in a cell/cell/cell

Learning about gentleness from honeybees

Beekeeping is Freedom


First Journeyman Beekeepers Have Graduated From AHCC!

Caring about people, caring about place

Beans to Bluebonnets

Astrobiology for the Incarcerated – Washington


Roots of Success Gains Momentum at Airway Heights


Creative Illustrations for Monarch Butterfly Conservation

AHCC Roots of Success Graduation

Saving Resources at Airway Heights Corrections Center

Airway Heights Abuzz with Beekeeping

All snaps! Airway Heights amazing firewood program


Gardens at Airway Heights Corrections Center