Target: Wehtahnah Tucker, California Correctional Health Care Services executive and FARM coordinator
Goal: Applaud Farm-to-Table Gardening Rehabilitation Program
A rehabilitation program called Farm and Rehabilitation Meals (FARM) has been launched at the Richard J. Donovan Correctional Facility in San Diego. The project provides inmates with the skills to reenter the workforce by teaching sustainable agricultural practices. In similar programs, the recidivism rate for inmates involved in FARM is as low as five to ten percent, compared to the overall rate of 61 percent in California, one of the highest in the nation.
The program’s initial cost is only $4,000, which will be funded entirely by private donors. The facility will include a classroom, a cistern for gray water and rainwater, raised garden beds, three acres of farmland on prison grounds, and will accommodate twenty farmers to start. Inmates will learn about community gardening and water-wise practices.
Part of the goal is to incorporate the facility’s crops into the prison’s kitchen, in order to teach inmates about healthy diets and nutrition, as well as the skills to get a job. With project approval from prison health authorities, the prison could ultimately save money on its food bills.
The program’s coordinator, Wehtahnah Tucker said, “We wanted to create more opportunities for inmates to have a more meaningful experience while they’re here, so when they leave, they cannot come back.”
The program currently exists in two correctional facilities but with its rate of success, that number is expected to rise. Help show your support of FARM and its growth nationwide by signing this petition praising Wehtahnah Tucker for making it possible.
Dear California Correctional Health Care Services executive Wehtahnah Tucker,
The Farm and Rehabilitation Meals (FARM) program instituted in Richard J. Donovan Correctional Facility in San Diego stands as a model for rehabilitation facilities across the U.S. The program teaches sustainable gardening and gives inmates a skill set applicable to an increasingly environmentally-friendly workforce.
The staggering effect the program has on recidivism rates stands alone as proof of the program’s effectiveness in rehabilitation.
FARM gives inmates an opportunity to learn about nutrition and sustainability and to see the literal fruits of their labor. The program may also save the correctional facility money, as it can help feed the 3,000 inmates there.
I applaud this progressive action towards true rehabilitation and the invaluable knowledge this program provides. I support the future growth of FARM and hope to see it become common practice as a means to rehabilitation in prisons.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: James Mann via Flickr