Washington State Penitentiary (WSP)

AreaProgramProgram Partners (partner with DOC, Evergreen, or both)Recent highlights – updated August 2019
WSPMonarch butterfly program, restoring Pacific Northwest populationsWashington State UniversityDepartment of Entomology7th year of the program, raising Pacific NW monarchs from egg to butterfly. 2018, rasied and released 580 adult butterflies, all with wing tags for scientific tracking and reporting.
WSPInstitutional Sustainability GardenDonate to Blue Mountain Action Council and Christian Aid Center2018 grew ~110,000 lbs of produce, donated 2,471 lbs; remainder to prison kitchen, saving $122,677; 2017 grew 151,470 lbs of produce, savings of $175,937; 457,380 ft2 of garden
WSPWaste sorting & recycling277,300 pounds of cardboard metals, batteries, and plastics diverted to recycling; new recycle shop improved sorting
WSPComposting, main75.9925 tons of post-consumer food waste to compost; 85.605 tons of post-consumer food waste to in-ground composting to improve soil in wheat fields; saves ~$150,000 in disposal fees
WSPElectrical upgradesThis past year, Facility Electrical Dept continued lighting retrofits: 8 pole lights, 12 light fixtures, 3 overhead, 2 wall, and 3 soffit lights; LED fixtures on hand to replace all existing when they fail
WSPWater conservationGovernment rebatesvia PPL Electric Utilities;ICON Systems Inc.In past year, updated 16 showers, reducing gallons-per-minute from 10 to 1.6
WSP-BARKitten programBlue Mountain Humane Society125 kittens and cats (mostly kittens) in the past year, socialized and raised for adoption
WSP-BARRoots of Success, environmental courseRoots of SuccessGraduated first class October 2018, 12 students
WSP-BARCrochet ProgramPartnership with SPL, creating donation items
WSP-MHUHorticultureFive flower plots dedicated to members of mental health programming
WSP-SPLSPL overviewReceive materials donations from partners; donated to 550 charities since start of SPL 201227 programs in past year donated 19,000+ items to non-profits; provided 8,500+ items for State use; estimate $200,000 savings for DOC annually; 250 tours provided; all technicians receive education and training programs
WSP-SPLSPL: Learning CenterCreates education curricula, manages inventory, coordinates events, TV repair and rental
WSP-SPLSPL: Wood ShopLumber Products, WSP Employees Veterans’ Committee, Hard Headz, Walla Walla Foundry, Habitat for Humanity, Humane Society, Fallen Outdoors, Salmon for Soldiers and other non-profit groupsMore than 250 projects in past year; built custom wood signs, special furniture items, and carvings for donations; also create and repair institutional furniture, big cost savings for DOC associated
WSP-SPLSPL: Wood CarvingHand-carved 96 items for auctions this past year; four individuals received one-on-one training
WSP-SPLSPL: Furniture RepairDonations to Habitat for Humanity, The Humane Society, Veterans Housing Project, Women and Children Rescue Mission, Christian Charities Mission, and Teen AidSort and salvage donated materials; create “custom furniture solutions” for 40+ charities; instruction on safety and tool use
WSP-SPLSPL: Sign shopRe-cycle materials, produce 2000+ signs and banners, provide vocational training to 6 sign makers; this shop focuses on cost savings for taxpayers; discontinued work for outside charities
WSP-SPLSPL: Aquaculture and AquaponicsGrew 800lbs of lettuce for prison kitchen; built new outdoor tilapia pond and improved inside program structures; technicians train and practice in fish breeding
WSP-SPLSPL: Worm FarmProcessed 42+ tons of material, producing 30,000lbs of worm castings; moved program to greenhouse in outdoor Green Zone, where there’s more space for expansion
WSP-SPLSPL: Art programCreated more than 60 unique and amazing paintings for donation to various charities
WSP-SPLSPL: Parole-a-bearSPL’s most productive shop by # of items, annually creating ~more than 4,200 stuffed bears and other items for charities; also repair for institutional clothing and created 300 holiday stockings for donation
WSP-SPLSPL: QuiltingFallen Outdoors, United Methodist Church, Brian Fisher Memorial org, local retirement/convalescent homes.Using donated or cast-off fabric and thread, constructed 350+ lap quilts, quilts and blankets for charity
WSP-SPLSPL: Creative projectsIn past year, created more than 60 projects such as puzzles and sculptures
WSP-SPLSPL: Bottle recyclingProof of concept stage: building childrens’ beds from discarded water and soda bottles (no longer have a buyer for recycling those items)
WSP-SPLSPL: Water treatment systemsProject 41Constructed water-filtrations systems as ordered by Project 41; optimized assembly methods
WSP-SPLSPL: Metal shipRepair and fabrication of equipment for recreation programs; repair and fabrication of items for Staff Wellness Program, including fund raising ($4,500!)
WSP-SPLSPL: Special projectsMade over 3,000 products for DOC institutional use, including staff duty belt items (such as OC dispenser holsters (MK4 & MK9), cuff cases, and radio cases, and more; also feature the ‘Blue Line’), bags for special needs, PREA shower curtains, incarcerated individuals’ property bags, and more
WSP-SPLSPL: SPL sorting and recyclingSorts all of the waste created within the SPL for recycling/re-use/repurposing; shreds scrap cardboard and papers for composting and worm farm programs; un-repairable clothes cut up for cleaning rags; remaining cloth scraps are then shredded to be used as stuffing in the teddy bears.
WSP-SPLSPL: Indoor plantsPropagate and care for plants for indoor spaces; also grew 100+ lavender plants for outdoor beautification and good smells
WSP-SPLSPL:Roots of Success, environmental courseRoots of SuccessGraduated 23rd class August 2018; 353 graduates so far; program on hold until funding available
WSP-SPLSPL: Green ZoneFarm to school, Lettuce Grow,
Master Gardening program, OSU
Produced 7,350 lbs of produce (80% to 13 food banks in Walla Walla County 20% to prison kitchen); delivered 1500 potted plant for 8 local school in Walla Walla; planted 4,000 seeds of more than 100 varieties of flowers for pollinators
WSP-SPLSPL: Green Zone composting40+ tons kitchen food waste combined with waste paper results in 20+ tons of finished compost; compost spread in Green Zone and other grounds
WSP-South ComplexRental garden boxes48 raised bed gardens, available to individual renters for personal use; program created with goal to reduce violence
WSP-MSUBeekeepingWest Plain Beekeepers, Washington State Beekeepers Association9 healthy hives; 44 Beginner certified beekeepers so far; two classes are in session now – a Beginner course with 7 incarcerated students and 2 staff members and a Journeyman course with 7 incarcerated students! Tried a new mite treatment this Spring that has worked well for their bees.
WSP-MSUSheep conservation programWashington Department of Fish and Wildlife, Washington State University9 Suffolk ewes produced 18 lambs; 10 female and 8 male; partners developed new data tracking systems and protocols. Certification and materials are in development
WSP-MSUFlower gardensTwo flowers gardens, 10 flower boxes and 26 hanging flower baskets
WSP-MSURental garden boxes 38 raised bed garden boxes available, for personal use; 38 active renters!
WSP-MSUDog ProgramWalla Walla Humane Society 20 incarcerated individuals served 2,632 hours as handlers and walkers
WSP-MSUCommunity crewCity/County of Walla Walla, Veterans Administration, Port of Walla Walla, Walla Walla Fairgrounds, Walla Walla Landfill, Walla Walla County Private Properties, and local Cities and/or Counties such as Waitsburg, Dayton, College Place, PrescottSustainability-related activities included landscaping, mowing, trimming, brush removal, cleaning out creeks, tree and shrub planting for fish and wildlife habitat, and pumpkin harvest

Articles about WSP


Growing food on a greater scale: WSP’s Institutional Sustainability Garden

Another Stellar Year for the Legendary Penitentiary Bee Program

Resourceful Art


LED Retrofits Pay Off

Sheep Husbandry Program: A New Collaboration for Conservation

A New Wildlife Conservation Program! Sheep Husbandry at WA State Penitentiary

Teddy bears and rebuilt bicycles: From prison to the community

Liaisons are our Roots for Success


Inmates Assemble Life-Saving Clean Drinking Water Systems

Sagebrush in Prisons

Busy as a Bee at WSP


Washington State Penitentiary Collaboration for the Birds!


Sustainable Practices Lab at WA State Penitentiary – Part 2

Sustainable Practices Lab at WA State Penitentiary – Part 1


Washington State Monarchs Going the Distance


Cat Program at WSP Has Staff & Inmates Smiling, Cats Purring

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

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

Sustainability Seminars begin at Washington State Penitentiary