||In collaboration with San Quentin State Prison, the Insight Garden Program (IGP) provides rehabilitation to self-selected prisoners through the process of organic gardening. Through the act of caring for plants, the qualities of responsibility, discipline and mindfulness transfer to the interpersonal realm — by growing plants, people also "grow."
The IGP's classes include classroom course curricula and hands-on experience in a 1,200-square foot organic flower garden in San Quentin's medium-security prison yard. In our classes, men learn about landscaping and gardening, including (but not limited to): planning, budgeting and design, irrigation, soil amendment, seasonal garden maintenance, and plant ID and propagation.
By working in an organic flower garden, men also become ecologically literate — developing an awareness of their connection to and impact on the world around them. They learn about the interconnectedness of human and ecological systems and how the principles of the natural world, such as diversity and cooperation, transfer to all levels of human systems.
This approach of "re-connection through nature" is integrated with opportunities for personal development. Because nature cultivates awareness, men learn to respond rather than react — and become productive members of society when they leave prison.