Fresh fruit and vegetables in a basket

Farm-To-Table Programs & Prisons

Prison isn’t a pleasant experience for anyone, which is why the skyrocketing recidivism rates around the country are hard to believe. California has a 61% rate, meaning that of every 10 prisoners released, 6 come back because of another crime. However, certain programs are changing the face of prisons. A farm-to-table program has been introduced in certain locations that is not only cutting the cost of maintaining prisons, but reducing the recidivism rate.

Most prisoners are given an hour of ‘yard’ time per day, in which they’re allowed to lounge outdoors, play basketball, and take part in other physical activity. Many long for more hours in the sunlight as opposed to the dismal interior of the prisoner. The farm-to-table program would allow prisoners to work on a prison-based farm. If successful, the program would provide the produce that inmates eat in the cafeteria.

Bail bonds are part of the process for many of the people in prisons. If you or someone you know is in trouble, use a bail bond to post bail until the trial and prepare for the eventual outcome. If sentenced, find out if the prison contains a farm-to-table program and apply to be part of it as soon as possible.

In addition to providing inmates the opportunity to spend more time in the sun, the program teaches nutrition and what it takes to maintain a healthy diet. Most prison food is designed to be sustaining, but not necessarily nutritious. It would also teach a valuable skill to inmates who may not have any employable skills. By learning how to work on a farm, inmates can find work after being released and greatly reduce their chances of returning.

Studies have shown that people react to incarceration in one of two ways: they shut down and do nothing until the time passes, or they become very productive. Many inmates enter into prison and improve their physical condition. However, far too many do nothing. The prison doesn’t provide a meaningful experience and does nothing to rehabilitate them.

Prisons that have implemented the farm-to-table system have recidivism rates of as low as 5 to 10 percent, far lower than the national average. Unfortunately, these programs are very rare throughout the country. The process to have a farm program implemented on a prison is a long and difficult one, and the produce must be approved before it is allowed to be used in the prison cafeteria. However, some people have proposed sending the grown produce to food banks rather than the prison.

The results are clear: implementing a farm-to-table program could revolutionize prisons. Not only would it allow prisoners to learn valuable skills, but the reduction in recidivism rates is worth it. Prison is meant to be a place where people learn how to be better members of society, not a place where they are sent to time and time again because they aren’t given the attention and care they need the first time. This program would provide that, as well as reducing the cost of providing fresh produce to thousands of prisoners across the country.


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