U.S. Department of Justice

Green Corrections

The NIC Green Corrections Initiative seeks to increase awareness among corrections professionals about environmental issues related to the practice of corrections and focus attention on the need to make correctional facilities more energy and resource efficient. The initiative also explores the feasibility of introducing green-collar job readiness training programs in facilities, assessing the capability of correctional industries to adopt ”green” practices, and identifying strategies to assess cost saving options for correctional agencies that operate self-sustaining facilities and programs.

The NIC publication, The Greening of Corrections: Creating a Sustainable System, provides a background for this initiative and highlights four main recommendations for the greening of prisons and jails.

Recommendation 1: Create a Sustainability Work Group

Recommendation 2: Hold a Retreat for Your Executive Team

Recommendation 3: Implement Budget Savings Strategies and Offender Employment Opportunities

Recommendation 4: Performance Management: Inspect What You Expect

The initial scope of the NIC Green Corrections Initiative included provision of technical assistance support for three states: Minnesota, Washington, and Maryland. These states worked to develop strategic plans for implementing or improving green corrections programs in their local area. A summary of the technical assistance results can be found in The Green Corrections Project: Action Plans and Lessons Learned. Project outcomes also included the creation of a community of practice to promote the use of green practices throughout country. From the community of practice and strategic plans, a framework for green corrections will be created and shared nationally.

The Green Corrections Challenge is one answer to capturing a wider array of opportunities. Through crowdsourcing, the Challenge calls on citizens, students, and professionals in criminal justice to contribute to the knowledge base of ideas available for being and doing "green"; in corrections.

Recommended Reading

Date Title Type
2014
Document 029714
Green Corrections Symposium Notes
National Institute of Corrections (NIC) (Washington, DC).
"On November 21, 2014, the Green Corrections Symposium convened professionals from the corrections community, as well as partners including reentry professionals, energy specialists, and education and workforce development experts. During the Symposium, winners of the Green Corrections Challenge, a video and presentation contest to demonstrate innovative green practices in the corrections community, were announced and viewed. Experts also spoke about best practices within the green corrections ... Read More
PDF
6 pages
2014
Document 028124
Green Corrections: Resources for Criminal Justice Professionals and Community Partners
National Institute of Corrections Information Center (NICIC) (Aurora, CO).
Are you interested in developing or improving green programs in your agency? This this bibliography from the National Institute of Corrections (NIC) is for you. "In a sense, the study of green corrections has been around for some time. For as long as people have been inventing ways to save money by reducing waste and energy, there has been green corrections. Yet, as a discipline, the topic is rather new. We are only now beginning to formalize our use of green practices into topics worthy of adva... Read More
PDF
16 pages
2013
Document 026941
The Green Corrections Project: Action Plans and Lessons Learned
By Davidson, Stephanie. National Institute of Corrections (Washington, DC).
This report is a great description of the three-phase Green Corrections project, sponsored by the National Institute of Corrections (NIC). The following sections comprise this publication: overview of the project; “The Greening of Corrections: Creating a Sustainable System”—the publication and its dissemination; developing a community of practice and providing technical assistance to states; application process; Maryland, Minnesota, and Washington addressing a different technical assistance need... Read More
PDF
6 pages
2011
Document 024914
The Greening of Corrections: Creating a Sustainable System
By Feldbaum, Mindy; Greene, Frank; Kirschenbaum, Sarah; Mukamal, Debbie; Welsh, Megan; Pinderhughes, Raquel. National Institute of Corrections (Washington, DC). AED. National Institute for Work and Learning (Washington, DC); National Institute of Corrections (Washington, DC).
What are viable strategies for cutting costs while protecting the public’s safety? Corrections can achieve some substantial cost savings in sustainability or greening strategies. This publication “provides correctional professionals with a framework to gain a general understanding of sustainability practices and principles and to identify examples of operations, programs, and management strategies for self-sustaining facilities” (p. ii). Sections of this publication include: introduction; greeni... Read More
PDF
76 pages
2010
Document 024388
Greening Corrections: People, Programs, and Practices [Satellite/Internet Broadcast held July 14, 2010]
National Institute of Corrections Academy (Aurora, CO).
This program seeks to increase environmental awareness among corrections professionals and focuses attention on the need to make correctional facilities more energy and resource efficient. This broadcast:
  • Explores the feasibility of introducing green collar job readiness training programs
  • Assesses correctional industries capability to adopt “green” practices
  • And identifies strategies to assess cost saving options for correctional agencies to operate “self sustaining” facilities and ... Read More
VIDEO
1 DVD (231 min.)
2009
Document 023821
Sustainable Prisons Project: Green, Inside and Out
Evergreen State College (Olympia, WA); Washington State Dept. of Corrections (Olympia, WA).
Information about the Sustainable Prisons Project whose aim is to help prisons "save money while rehabilitating" inmates is available at this website. Points of access are: about us; what we do -- pilot activities; media room -- scientific and popular press; and contact information.... Read More
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2 p.
2014
Document 028149
The Green Corrections Challenge-National Institute of Corrections
By Connelly, Mike; Davison, Stephanie; Sipes, Leonard. DC Public Safety (Washington, DC).
This program "addressed Green Corrections and the Green Corrections Challenge; an effort to document what agencies are doing to support environmental improvements within correctional facilities". This endeavor is funded by the National Institute of Corrections (NIC).... Read More
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30 minutes

Related Resources

Date Title Type
2015
Document 031204
Heat in US Prisons and Jails: Corrections and the Challenge of Climate Change
By Holt, Daniel W. E.. Columbia Law School. Sabin Center for Climate Change Law (New York, NY).
This is an excellent paper which "addresses two important but largely neglected questions: How will increased temperatures and heat waves caused by climate change affect prisons, jails, and their staff and inmate populations? And what can correctional departments do to prepare for greater heat and minimize the dangers it poses? … Until now, the implications of climate change for corrections have been largely disregarded by both correctional administrators and public officials working on climate ... Read More

144 pages
2014
Document 028089
Resilience in Corrections: A Proactive Approach to Changing Conditions
By Connelly, Michael; Feldman, David. National Institute of Corrections (NIC) (Washington, DC).
“This white paper describes the issues facing corrections policy and leadership as the impacts of climate change and its related consequences confront departments, agencies, and facilities in coming years. Not only will corrections have to manage the effects of more extreme weather and temperatures than in the past. Corrections will also have to develop and improve its flexibility and resiliency in its operations to weather the multiple coming changes while maintaining its core functions of prot... Read More
PDF
20 pages
2014
Document 029714
Green Corrections Symposium Notes
National Institute of Corrections (NIC) (Washington, DC).
"On November 21, 2014, the Green Corrections Symposium convened professionals from the corrections community, as well as partners including reentry professionals, energy specialists, and education and workforce development experts. During the Symposium, winners of the Green Corrections Challenge, a video and presentation contest to demonstrate innovative green practices in the corrections community, were announced and viewed. Experts also spoke about best practices within the green corrections ... Read More
PDF
6 pages
2014
Document 028124
Green Corrections: Resources for Criminal Justice Professionals and Community Partners
National Institute of Corrections Information Center (NICIC) (Aurora, CO).
Are you interested in developing or improving green programs in your agency? This this bibliography from the National Institute of Corrections (NIC) is for you. "In a sense, the study of green corrections has been around for some time. For as long as people have been inventing ways to save money by reducing waste and energy, there has been green corrections. Yet, as a discipline, the topic is rather new. We are only now beginning to formalize our use of green practices into topics worthy of adva... Read More
PDF
16 pages
2014
Document 028149
The Green Corrections Challenge-National Institute of Corrections
By Connelly, Mike; Davison, Stephanie; Sipes, Leonard. DC Public Safety (Washington, DC).
This program "addressed Green Corrections and the Green Corrections Challenge; an effort to document what agencies are doing to support environmental improvements within correctional facilities". This endeavor is funded by the National Institute of Corrections (NIC).... Read More
_blank
30 minutes
2013
Document 026941
The Green Corrections Project: Action Plans and Lessons Learned
By Davidson, Stephanie. National Institute of Corrections (Washington, DC).
This report is a great description of the three-phase Green Corrections project, sponsored by the National Institute of Corrections (NIC). The following sections comprise this publication: overview of the project; “The Greening of Corrections: Creating a Sustainable System”—the publication and its dissemination; developing a community of practice and providing technical assistance to states; application process; Maryland, Minnesota, and Washington addressing a different technical assistance need... Read More
PDF
6 pages
2013
Document 027531
Sustainability in Prisons
Washington State Dept. of Corrections. Sustainability in Prisons Project (SPP) (Olympia, WA).
“A look at the past, present, and future of the Sustainability in Prisons Project in Washington state commemorating the 5th anniversary of the project's inception. The project is a partnership between the Washington State Department of Corrections and the Evergreen State College.”... Read More
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12 minutes
2013
Document 028427
A New Life Behind Bars: A Prison Retrofit
By Machado, Micaela.
This innovatively designed report is an excellent examination of how a prison could become more sustainable and save costs. "Institutional establishments with long-term residents, such as prisons, which use a significant amount of resources can reduce their energy, food and water costs by using sustainable practices. These practices can help reduce the costs of prisoner housing and eventually lower costs to tax payers. This project focuses on a hypothetical retrofit of the Wilmot Department of C... Read More
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136 pages
2013
Document 028428
Oregon Sustainability 2013
Oregon Dept. of Corrections (Salem, OR).
"The Oregon Department of Corrections (DOC) is committed to sustainable operations to protect our natural environment and improve quality of life for healthier communities. Sustainable practices will protect our environment, save taxpayer money, and model positive practices to the adults in DOC" (p. 3). This publication illustrates how the Oregon DOC is working on increasing its sustainable operations. Topics covered include: the creation of a sustainable system; field mowing program; Sustainabi... Read More
PDF
28 pages
2013
Document 027592
Stories of Change Among Justice-Involved American Indian Youth: From the Cross-Site Evaluation of OJJDP’s Tribal Green Reentry Program
By McKay, Tasseli; Lindquist, Christine; Melton, Ada Pecos; Martinez, Rita. RTI International (Research Triangle Park, NC).
“Understanding what helps justice-involved American Indian (AI) youth to make positive changes in their lives and end or reduce their involvement in the tribal juvenile justice system is important for developing effective supports. This report presents perspectives on personal change among justice-involved AI youth who participated in the Tribal Juvenile Detention and Reentry Green Demonstration (“Green Reentry”) programs in three tribes.” Sections of this publication address: risk and protectiv... Read More
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14 pages
2012
Document 026645
Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction Three-Year Strategic Sustainability Plan
Ohio Dept. of Rehabilitation and Correction (Columbus, OH).
'The goals established in the Strategic Sustainability Plan frequently make sense by cutting our fuel and electricity costs, lowering waste disposal fees, and reducing our water usage and sewer bills. The plan also provides guidance on training offenders in environmental issues and provides them with green job skills that will prepare them to compete for employment upon their release and practice sustainability in their homes' (p. 1). Sections of this plan are: letter from the Director; executiv... Read More
PDF
16 pages
2012
Document 026462
greenprisons.org
greenprisons.org (Richmond, KY ).
“Your Source for News and Information on Environmentally Responsible Products and Services in the Corrections Industry.” Points of access are: about greenprisons; facility; newslinks; conferences; webinars; green programs; and resources.... Read More
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