Programme trains prisoners to be hi-tech farmers
Food & Drink
As well as growing food for prisons, the programme connects people with jobs
Spotted: Social justice organisation Impact Justice has recently introduced its newest initiative: Growing Justice. The programme connects incarcerated and formerly incarcerated individuals seeking fairly paid secure work, with the cutting-edge technology of vertical farming.
Working with vertical farming experts—Skout Strategy and Agritecture—Impact Justice is designing and building two new farms – one located in a women’s prison in central California, and the other at the organisation’s Oakland headquarters. Each farm is modular, built in a shipping container, and hydroponically grows a variety of greens for use in the prison kitchen.
Farm employees will learn about all aspects of indoor farming, from the conditions needed to grow a range of foodstuffs, to the technological and mechanical processes that run the systems. The education that employees receive is rigorous and designed to provide the necessary knowledge and expertise for a career in the industry, including the foundations for starting their own business. The food being grown should also help to improve the overall healthfulness of prison menus, as well as provide incarcerated individuals with a direct connection to nature they would otherwise be unable to access.
Springwise has spotted many vertical farm facilities run by AI and at various stages of automation. Because of this, people new to the industry learn just as much about technology as they do about farming, which in the long run, could provide improved resilience in future employment.
Written By: Keely Khoury
10th November 2022