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Beyond the Bars: Landscapes for Health and Healing in Corrections

  • Amy L. LindemuthEmail author
Chapter

Abstract

Correctional facilities in the United States are stressful social environments within stark institutional settings. They are a unique category of red zone because they do not result from a sudden disturbance to the ecological or social landscape at the scale of a city or nation-state. Rather, they are intentionally constructed spaces that reflect red zone characteristics and as such, they contain the intense, potentially hostile areas and time periods that characterize red zones. Although these settings are experienced by millions of inmates and staff every day, the restorative and therapeutic benefits that the surrounding landscape could provide are rarely given careful consideration by individuals involved in their planning, construction, or administration. Research has shown that gardens and natural settings may be physically and psychologically beneficial for inmates and prison staff in terms of reducing stress, reducing recidivism rates, and improving overall health outcomes. This chapter discusses the potential benefits of prison gardens given available research. Two long-running garden programs, The Children’s Garden at Bedford Hills Correctional Facility and the GreenHouse Program at the Rikers Island Jails, are discussed as well as the elements that help foster the successful design, implementation, and maintenance of gardens within correctional facilities.

Keywords

Prison Gardens in the United States Prisons and therapeutic environments Bedford Hills correctional facility Rikers Island Jails Female inmates and children Horticultural therapy and prisons Corrections officers and health Inmates and health 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Swift Company llcSeattleUSA

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