Support Environmentally-Sustainable Prisons


Target: Charles E. Samuels Jr., Director of the Federal Bureau of Prisons

Goal: Support prisons that have implemented environmentally-sustainable operations and encourage other prisons to follow suit

Millions of people in the United States are trying to make their homes, offices, yards, and lifestyles greener. However, private residences and work spaces aren’t the only places that need environmentally-sound structures and maintenance. Federal and state prisons are notorious for producing non-recyclable waste and clinging onto energy inefficient technologies. Support prisons that are reducing their carbon footprint and creating incentives for more prisons to follow suit.

North Carolina’s Butner Federal Prison is one example of a forward-thinking prison, and it was the first LEED certified (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) prison in the country. The prison’s landscaping is energy efficient, and low-flow plumbing fixtures have been installed. This prison also features bicycle storage and an alternative fuel station for prison employees. The state of Washington now requires all need prisons to be LEED certified, and the state’s Monroe Correctional Complex features a rainwater collection system and low-energy lighting.

Just because prisoners are being punished for their criminal activity doesn’t mean that the environment should suffer too. Not only are greener prisons good for the environment, but they can also be good for the economy and aid prisoners’ rehabilitation.  Sign the petition below to show your support for environmentally sustainable prisons and urge the Federal of Bureau of Prisons to support them as well.


Dear Director Samuels,

Dozens of correctional facilities in the United States have taken their cue from go-green initiatives and started making energy-efficient improvements to their structures and grounds. However, the federal prison system has a long way to go if it hopes to be environmentally-sustainable in the near future.

I am urging you to work with environmental experts to implement clean energy and power-saving technologies in more federal prisons throughout the country each year. Encourage existing and new prisons to utilize cost-saving windows, energy efficient boilers, and efficient ventilation systems throughout the compounds. The cost-benefit analysis of energy efficient building systems has been proven time and time again, and needs to be implemented.

Additionally, please work with prisons under your jurisdiction to implement programs that allow selected inmates to work in food programs. These programs would train inmates to compost food waste, grow organic vegetables, sort recyclables, and collect rainwater for garden use. Not only will these types of programs keep inmates productive, but they will create in-house food supplies that will save prisons money.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: Christina Xu via WikiMedia

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103 Signatures

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