In his book, Doing Time in the Garden, James Jiler combines an engaging personal account of running a highly successful horticultural vocation program at the largest jail complex in the United States with a practical guide to starting and managing prison and re-entry gardening programs.
The Greenhouse Project gives horticultural job-training to male and female inmates at New York City's Rikers Island jail system. After release, ex-offenders can intern with the GreenTeam, which provides landscaping and gardening services to community groups and institutions throughout New York State.
Jiler's humor and heartfelt stories about prison community and clear explanations of what works broaden this book's appeal to all social activists, especially those involved with at-risk populations.
creating in-prison and post-release horticultural training programs. Jiler directs the Greenhouse Project, a horticultural job-training program for male and female inmates at New York City's Rikers Island jail system. He also directs the GreenTeam of ex-offenders who work with community groups and institutions on landscape-related projects throughout New York State. He has also worked as a inner-city urban ecologist in Baltimore and New Haven and an agriculturist in Nepal. He holds a Masters Degree in forestry and social ecology from Yale. The excerpt begins with a snapshot of the greenhouse program in action, and follows with details of Jiler's teaching methods. Those working in art & corrections or arts & criminal justice may find Jiler's approach useful in their prison work.
- The Community Arts Network
Doing Time in the Garden
James Jiler's book outlines perfect models of meaningful green-collar jobs training. This is restorative economics at its best—the surest path to safe streets and peaceful communities.
- Van Jones, Founder of Ella Baker Center and Green For All