Insight Garden Program
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 California state prisons. In our classes, men learn about landscaping and gardening, including planning, budgeting and design, irrigation, soil amendment, seasonal garden maintenance, and plant identification and propagation.
By working in organic gardens, program participants also become ecologically literate and develop an awareness of their connection to and impact on the world around them. Learning about the interconnectedness of human and ecological systems and 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.
Insight Garden Program is currently operating in San Quentin State Prison and California State Prison-Solano and will expand to other correctional institutions in the state of California and beyond.