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Down to Earth

Green jobs for jailbirds

By: Mairead DUNDAS Follow | Juliette LACHARNAY | Marie SCHUSTER | Marina BERTSCH

In the United States, hundreds of inmates are finding redemption in conservation. We meet some of these prisoners who are embracing a project that brings science and nature inside their prison walls.

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Manny was robbing banks before he became a fish farmer at Stafford Creek Corrections Center. Toby propagates native plants while serving 23 years for serious sex offences. And Christopher used to prefer causing trouble on the streets to growing organic vegetables for fellow prisoners.

Today, the trio are among hundreds of inmates within Washington state's penal system who have embraced a project that brings science and nature inside the prison, with an impact that goes well beyond the four barbed wire walls.

The initiative, known as the Sustainability in Prisons project, started back in 2004. It's since been copied by nine other American states, with constant interest from around the globe.

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