Correctional facilities in New England serve thousands of meals each day. FINE is building our network in the carceral sector to explore its potential for sourcing local food. We are researching food budgets, costs, sourcing, onsite gardens and farms, workforce development, and reentry programs. We are convening stakeholders, and developing tools, in the hopes of better serving the incarcerated population, which is comprised disproportionately of black men. 

Corrections Sector Goals

  1. Build the Network
  2. Conduct Research
  3. Create Tool & Disseminate Resources
  4. Convene Stakeholders
  5. Pursue Funding Opportunities

FINE Strategic Plan & Strategy Filter

Corrections Advisory Group

Guiding Question & Purpose 

How can FINE play a valuable role in the farm to correction movement, that is context-sensitive and responds to the unique needs, opportunities, and constraints of the carceral system?

Members

  • Jocelyn Apicello, Urban Farming and Sustainability Faculty Advisor, Bard Prison Initiative 
  • Abrah Dresdale, Regenerate Change Consultant & Franklin County Jail Farm & Food Program
  • Tony Hall, Garden Educator, Franklin County Jail
  • Sophia Kruszewski, Clinic Director & Assistant Professor, Vermont Law School
  • Mark McBrine, Food Service Manager for the Maine Department of Corrections at Mountain View Correctional Facility
  • Bryan Mitofsky, Food Service Management, Vermont Department of Corrections
  • Renee Page, Assistant Director, Healthy Communities of the Capital Area, Maine Farm to School and Institution
  • Renee Portanova, Co-Founder & Director, The New Garden Society 
  • Theresa Snow, Founder/Executive Director, Salvation Farms
  • Leslie Soble, Research Fellow - Food in Prison, Impact Justice
  • Emily Whittier, Student Clinician, Vermont Law School 
  • Ali Zipparo, Independent Community Development Specialist

Interested in serving on FINE’s next corrections advisory group? Email Peter Allison, [email protected].

Farm to Corrections Research & Resources

Would you like to add a project or publication here? Contact Sarah Lyman, [email protected].

Open Forum on COVID-19 & Corrections, June 11, 2020 This online forum connected those who work at the intersection of the food and carceral systems. Mark McBrine, Food Service Manager for the Maine Department of Corrections (DOC) at Mountain View Correctional Facility, gave an update on their efforts to source local food previously destined for restaurants and processors to the facility food service operation. Leslie Soble, Research Fellow with Impact Justice, gave an update on her national research exploring trends in carceral meal service as a result of COVID-19. We recognize that not all of those invested in the corrections sector were represented during the forum, including people who are currently or formerly incarcerated, and people of color, especially black men, who disproportionately represent the incarcerated population. We are eager to expand this network. Please send us suggestions and offer introductions so we can include more voices in future forums.


Cover of Impact Justice report - illustration of men in orange clothing in prison cafeteria - some are sitting eating from segmented trays, others are waiting in lineEating Behind Bars: Ending the Hidden Punishment of Food in Prison is the first national investigation of its kind. This six-part report explores the inequities and troubling trends in prison food, centering the perspectives of people who have been incarcerated while also examining food services policies and practices that affect more than 1.3 million people incarcerated in state prisons nationwide.


Jail-to-Farm-to-College & Employment Pathways This 2016 report prepared by Abrah Dresdale explores opportunities for Franklin County House of Corrections in Greenfield, MA, to expand their current gardening, academic, and wellness programmatic offerings. 

The Fife and Drum Restaurant, located at Northeastern Correctional Center in Concord, MA, is open to the public and is used as a culinary arts program for the inmates housed at the facility. Address: 976 Barretts Mill Road, West Concord, MA 01742,  Phone: (978) 371-7941

The Tufts University Prison Initiative of the Tisch College of Civic Life brings Tufts faculty and students together with incarcerated and formerly incarcerated people, corrections staff, educators, and scholars of criminal justice to facilitate creative and collaborative responses to the problems of mass incarceration.

Mountain View Correctional Facility providing food for themselves and community, a 2019 WABI5 news story by Brianna Bires about the Charleston, ME facility.

Victory Bus Project: Helping Kids With Imprisoned Parents This 2015 story by Kelly Seiz describes how a partnership between bussing and a Hudson Valley farm has resulted in New York State children being better connected to their imprisoned parents, as well as getting access to fresh produce. 

College Behind Bars, This four-part PBS documentary directed by Lynn Novick and produced by Ken Burns, tells the story of incarcerated men and women struggling to earn college degrees and turn their lives around in one of the most rigorous and effective prison education programs in the US - the Bard Prison Iniative. 

Events

Conference on Social & Ecological Infrastructure for Recidivism Reduction (remonte) - March 18-21, 2021

Northeast Farm to Institution Summit (remote) - April 1, 8, 15, 2021

Stay in Touch

If you have a corrections-related story, resource, or contact, we would love to hear it. Email Peter Allison, [email protected].

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