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September 19, 2017 Grassroots Change Newsletter

Beth Waitkus and the Insight Garden Prison Program, Part 1

“After 9/11, when someone asked me if I would grow a garden in San Quentin, I realized this was an opportunity to integrate my passion for environmental and social justice and an opportunity to find my faith in humanity again. Over the past 15 years, my faith in the capacity for people to change has been reaffirmed time and time again.”

-Beth Waitkus, Executive Director, Insight Garden Program

In this two-part series, Grassroots Change Program Associate and Insight Garden volunteer Ellie Gertler interviews Beth Waitkus, Founder and Executive Director of the Insight Garden Program. Over the past 15 years, the Insight Garden Program has expanded to eight prisons in California and two in Indiana, as well as a prison reentry program in New York. The first part of the series covers the inception and history of the program, and initial goals, challenges, successes.

“Over the course of the last 15 years, the conversation here in California has shifted from punishment [alone] to rehabilitation. The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation wants to get there and we are part of that change.”

Read the interview here.

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