Planting Justice is a Bay Area organization that is doing amazing work. It's created over 250 edible permaculture gardens in the Bay Area. To create, maintain and farm these gardens they've employed - at a living wage of $17.50/hr - men transitioning from prison. And while the state prison recidivism rate is 65% in California, Planting Justice's employees have had, not a reduction in that rate, but a zeroing out of it.
That's right, 0% recidivism:
We're a small social-enterprise non-profit that is 40% self-funded (through paid contract work) and 40% grassroots funded (through small individual contributions). We operate at a small scale (in 5 years of operation, we've supported 18 men transitioning from San Quentin State Prison), and we understand the challenges entailed in supporting successful re-entry for the tens of thousands of prisoners released each year.
But in 5 years of operation, our re-entry program has a 0% recidivism rate. 0% compared to California's 65%.
To put that in perspective, if there is a 65% chance of any particular person going back into prison, do you know what the odds are, all other things being equal, of eighteen people selected at random all not going back to prison? It's about 1 in 500,000,000. Yup, that's one in five hundred million. All other things are not equal: Planting Justice is doing something right, like
- Starting on the 'Inside' with a unique re-entry program before someone makes parole.
- Providing a living wage job, so someone can support themselves financially once out.
- Peer support. Over 50% of Planting Justice's staff has been formerly incarcerated.
- Prioritizing health, with comprehensive health, vision and dental insurance.
- Meaningful opportunities to advance.
"In January, Anthony gave a presentation at the American Corrections Association national conference in Louisiana - presenting as an expert to the same people who had overseen his own confinement for over 25 years."
Now Planting Justice has embarked on their most ambitious project yet...
Buying two abandoned acres in the 'Deep East' neighborhood of Oakland, California, and transforming the space into, well, watch this amazing (and short!) video to find out!
Planting Justice doesn't just want to transform untended acreage...
It doesn't just want to create food justice for all. It doesn't just want to help people coming out of prison stay out of prison, giving them a sense of worth while gifting the world one fewer member of the prison-industrial complex. In addition...
Planting Justice teaches programs at four Oakland high schools... two juvenile detention centers, San Quentin Prison, and Santa Rita Jail... Planting Justice also participates in a rehabilitation program called Pathways to Resilience... [And they] use the... principles of permaculture - citing fundamentals such as "diversity is resilience" - to design their organization to eliminate the majority of their need for funding from foundations and to employ formerly incarcerated people.
Not bad for a small organization. Not bad at all.
Would you like to help them reach their goal? Would you like to help them show the country that mass (re)incarceration is not a given?
We need your help to purchase 2 acres of deserted land in Sobrante Park, a neighborhood in deep east Oakland that is known for having the highest unemployment and crime rates in Oakland, and very limited access to grocery stores or any other way of getting fresh, organic, nutritious food. We have chosen this neighborhood as the site where we will build our aquaponics farm and training center, house the newly acquired Rolling River Nursery (www.rollingrivernursery.com), and create an urban food production hub staffed almost entirely by formerly incarcerated staff/community leaders.
They're already well on their way to their fundraising goal:
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