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Green Corrections - FAQ

  1. When is the deadline for submissions?


  2. What will I be judged on?

    Presentations were judged on the following criteria:

    • Overall innovation of program or practice.
    • Ability to describe an innovative program or practice.
    • Ability to demonstrate the success of a program or practice through measurable outcomes.
    • Creativity and originality.
  3. What are the prizes?

    Winners were invited to participate in a webinar to share their video presentation and innovative practice with the larger corrections community.

  4. Is there a monetary award?

    No, there was no monetary award for the Green Corrections Challenge.

  5. When will the decision of the winners be made?

    Winners were announced on November 21, 2014.

  6. Who can enter?

    Complete rules and eligibility requirements are available at

  7. Can entries be disqualified?

    Yes, entries can be disqualified if the presentation contains inappropriate content, use of copyrighted materials, or has problems with length. Entries that do not include the appropriate forms will also be disqualified. All forms are available at

  8. What forms do I need to fill out, and where should I send them?

    All entries needed to include the following forms:

    • Entry Form and Certification
    • Release and Consent Form

    Scan and then e-mail all completed forms to bop-nic/

  9. How do I submit my presentation?

    All presentations should be saved to a disc and then mailed to NIC headquarters, care of The Green Corrections Challenge. Complete instructions were available at

  10. How many entries can I submit?

    Only one presentation could be submitted per category, per organization. For example, if you or your organization wanted to enter a presentation in each one of the four challenge categories, that would be permissible. However, if you wanted to submit more than one presentation in a single category, only first entry would be accepted and reviewed.

  11. In what format should I submit my project?

    All presentations must have been created using presentation software, such as Microsoft PowerPoint or Prezi. For more information, see the official rules at

  12. There are four categories for the contest. How do I determine which category my presentation fits in?

    First read the Greening of Corrections: Creating a Sustainable System guide at The guide provides a description of programs that would fit into the challenge categories of Correctional Facilities, Education and Training, and Reentry. The final category, Green Innovations, includes any cross-cutting or new innovations that do not clearly fit into the other categories.

    In short, the categories were defined as follows:

    • Correctional Facilities - Consider energy use and efficiency, water and waste management, recycling programs, and other facilities management practices.
    • Education and Training - Green programs like these provide offenders with the relevant skills, competencies, and credentials to support a continuum of learning opportunities during a transition to a greener economy.
    • Reentry Programs - Integrate new green skills and competencies or create new programs driven by an increased demand for green goods and services.
    • Green Innovations - Correctional programs and practices that do not meet the definition and criteria of the other challenge categories fit here.
  13. How can I tell if my program is “green”?

    In the Greening of Corrections, you will find reference to the phrase “triple bottom line.” This is a way of looking at things that provides a framework for considering sustainability in corrections. Specifically, as noted in the publication, the triple bottom line “incorporates sustainability into business decisions by considering the social, environmental (or ecological), and financial aspects of a program. Any program can be “green” if it considers these dimensions.”

  14. How many people can work on one presentation?

    There is no limit to the number of people who can work on one presentation.

  15. My facility has strict rules about photographing and filming inmates. Can I submit a presentation without pictures of people?

    Presentations did not need to include the faces of justice-involved clients or other individuals. However, presentations are strongest when they tell the story of the work that you are doing. So, regardless of whether your presentation includes pictures of people or not, be sure to support your presentation’s content with facts and data that can help tell your story. These data should help show the effectiveness of your program or process. Then include information about how your ideas or strategies could be replicated in other locations.

  16. What equipment do I need?

    You don’t need expensive equipment to make a presentation for the Green Corrections Challenge. Any presentation software that will yield an acceptable presentation format will work. You can use a smart phone, flip phone, digital camera, or professional equipment to record. Whatever it takes to capture your story will do.

  17. I’ve never created a presentation before. Can you give me some ideas about where to start?

    Before developing your presentation, think about the story you want to tell. Outline what information you want people to learn from your presentation. As you do so, be sure to include data that supports your story and your recommendations on how others may replicate your practice elsewhere. In your presentation, you may want to share video, audio, or still images of photos or news clips. Be creative but know that the presentation’s content is most important.

    Another great tip to help you begin is to brainstorm with colleagues and individuals who have been affected by the program or practice you would like to submit. Ask them for creative ideas on how to present the information.

    Once you have an idea of what the presentation should include, get started.

    Also, click here to visit for technical instructions about how to create a timed, narrated PowerPoint presentation.

  18. How do I create a good presentation?

    First think about your green innovation and how you want to describe it. Then, when planning your submission, consider doing the following:

    When Developing the Presentation:

    • Know you audience. Tailor the subject matter and the tone you use in your presentation to the people who will be viewing your work.
    • Tell a story. Humanize your experience by sharing one or more examples of how your green innovation has helped others or improved correctional operations.
    • Use facts. While stories are important, facts will give your presentation credibility. Your presentation and the results you claim should be believable.
    • Include interesting visuals. A presentation is a multi-sensory experience. Use not only words, but video clips, animation, photos, illustrations, and diagrams to help support your position.
    • Be memorable. Create your presentation the way you wish more people would create them. Let it be interactive, intelligent, and interesting.

    If You Are Recording a Live Presentation:

    • Ensure that the frame is in focus.
    • Check the resolution.
    • Ensure there is adequate light.
    • If you are using a camera phone, hold the device horizontally and at eye level when filming.
    • Be careful when using zoom.
    • Make sure there is light source is behind you.
    • Try to record where there are no loud noises like ambulances passing, nearby construction, or people talking in the next office.
    • Make a script, and then practice saying the script several times before recording.
    • Look in the mirror. Be sure your tie is straight or that your hair is in place before filming.

    If You Are Recording From a Desktop/Laptop:

    • Use slides to support your voiceover. While you may read directly from your slides, many people who sit through presentations like these find it unbearable. Try to overlap your slide content with an interesting story or other audio.
    • Check your slides for spelling, grammar, and other errors.
    • Make a script, and then practice saying the script several times before recording.
    • Practice giving the presentation before a live audience for real-time feedback.
    • Ensure that you capture the full presentation area of the screen you're recording.
  19. Can I use copyrighted materials?

    No copyrighted materials (music, images, etc.) may be used for this contest unless you own the copyright or have a license to use the material. Written permission must be obtained and provided upon request for all copyrighted materials.

  20. What will happen to the presentation submissions after the contest?

    Winning presentations will be shown at the Green Corrections Symposium during the Innovation Webinars, and then later posted to the NIC website.

  21. What is the purpose of the challenge?

    Innovation and green practices are being practiced in communities across the country, but if people don’t know about them, we can’t learn from them and others can’t implement new programs and replicate best and evidence-based practices.

    The Green Corrections Challenge aims to educate practitioners in the field of corrections about the numerous opportunities available for implementing green programs. It also helps people understand that green corrections is about more than saving energy; it includes education, training, and reentry programs.

  22. Why should I submit a presentation?

    Research shows that people learn by doing. People also learn well when they receive information in a format that is accessible and easy to understand. In this case, that format is a presentation. In addition, your facilities and programs are doing great work. This challenge created an opportunity for you to share this information with your colleagues in other states and communities so they can learn from you and possibly implement similar programs. While there are many resources available about green corrections in The Greening of Corrections, through the NIC Information Center, and elsewhere, we know there are still thousands of great ideas being implemented around the country. We want to know about those ideas so that more people can implement them, too. Your presentation will help us do that.

  23. Can we partner with NIC on the Green Corrections Challenge?

    If you want to partner with NIC or otherwise participate in the Green Corrections Challenge beyond submitting a presentation, please contact us at bop-nic/ Also visit for more information. There, you will find a series of resources that you can use to share information about the Challenge with your colleagues.

  24. Who do I contact if I have additional questions?

    Email your Green Corrections Challenge questions to bop-nic/