Category Archives: Uncategorized

Offenders take college credit at Evergreen

Posted by Graduate Research Associate Liesl Plomski

Cedar Creek Correction Center inmate, Charles Butts, recently completed a 2 credit research paper on photovoltaic cells with The Evergreen State College. Charles is our first incarcerated student to construct an independent learning contract through The Evergreen State College. Under the guidance of faculty sponsor, Peter Impara, Charles was able to author a paper on the history and current technology of photovoltaic cells. Charles has a background as an electrician and hopes to continue to study solar energy and to open his own business installing energy saving products upon his release. This accomplishment could not have been achieved without the support of Correctional Counselor, Marko Anderson.

Liesl Plomski (SPP staff), Charles Butts (offender and student), Peter Impara (Evergeren State College faculty) and Marko Anderson (Cedar Creek Correctional Center staff) celebrate as Charles completes requirements to receive college credits

Liesl Plomski (SPP Student & Staff), Charles Butts (offender and student), Peter Impara (Evergreen State College faculty) and Marko Anderson (Cedar Creek Corrections Center staff) celebrate as Marko finishes his coursework and receives college credits

 

Charles has opened to door for more incarcerated students to follow. An incarcerated student from the Washington Corrections Center for Women will begin an independent learning contract on recycling this summer, under the guidance of faculty sponsor, Karen Gaul. The Sustainable Prisons Project hopes to support more incarcerated students in the pursuit of sustainable knowledge in the future.

Earth Day, Sustainable Prisons Project Style

Posted by undergraduate research associate Sarelle Caicedo.

Earth Day is here! People are often very creative in the ways they celebrate, and there seems to be no exception with Washington Corrections Centers. The Stafford Creek Corrections Center (SCCC)  held their Earth Day celebration event on April 14, 2010, and the Sustainable Prisons Project was there.

About 10 different environmental organizations and businesses set up information tables in a large visiting room in the Corrections Center.  This was the 3rd annual Earth Day at SCCC, and it was a great success. The inmates and the staff had very positive responses to the various information tables.

Greg Falxa explains a "bat condo," one of many constructed at Stafford Creek

Greg Falxa explains a "bat condo," one of many constructed at Stafford Creek

Greg Falxa, a bat biologist at Cascadia Research, came to the event with Sarah Clarke and Sarelle Caicedo, Sustainable Prisons Project student Research Associates. Greg will be giving the May scientific lecture on bat biology and conservation on May 12 at SCCC, so this visit enabled him to promote his upcoming talk with inmates and staff and build enthusiasm. Inspired by the growing success of the bird box project, inmates are now constructing bat boxes (known by the inmates as “bat condos”), and Greg was able to display a recently built bat box.  

Project Research Associates Sarelle Caicedo and Sarah Clarke with SCCC Superintendent Pat Glebe

Project Research Associates Sarelle Caicedo and Sarah Clarke with SCCC Superintendent Pat Glebe

Pat Glebe, Stafford Creek superintendent, was present, continuing to motivate and steer Stafford Creek’s efforts to be a leading practitioner of sustainability. 

Next week, on April 28th, Graduate Research Associate Carl Elliott and undergraduate assistant, Sarelle Caicedo will be giving a joint lecture at SCCC, and they are very excited! The topic of the talk will be prairie plant conservation and conservation of the Purple Martin and Western Bluebird. This talk has been of keen interest to he inmates because they have been involved in hands on projects concerning both prairie plants and these two species of birds. Carl and Sarelle have worked together in the past, propagating plants with The Nature Conservancy, and feel that their joint talk will go well. Stay tuned for details next week on how it goes, and happy Earth week!

New Frogs Have Arrived!

Posted by Graduate Research Associate Liesl Plomski

Cedar Creek Correction Center kicked off their 2010 Oregon spotted frog rearing season in late March. Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife delivered around 80 larvae from the Black River in Thurston County to the Prison. Since then the frogs have been moved from 6-quart containers indoors to a 300-gallon tank outside. Many of the tadpoles have begun metamorphoses and are developing front legs. They are developing much faster than last year.  The inmates prepare a “Popeye” food mash of romaine lettuce, kale, and spirulina to feed to the tadpoles four times a day.  We’re impressed by how quickly the frogs are growing and maturing; so far things are on track to match the success of the 2009 season.