Horticulture in rehabilitation of inmates

E. Rappe, H. Kajander, J. Vesamäki, A. Malinen

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionScientificpeer-review

Abstract

Horticulture has been used in rehabilitation and vocational training in Finnish prisons for a long time but its effects on the well-being of inmates has not so far been evaluated. "Roots to freedom"-project is a nature based rehabilitation project for adult male inmates in Kerava Prison, Finland, in which horticultural activities were offered both in open and closed prison departments in 2013 and 2014. The aim of this study was to document the perceived effects of horticultural activities on coping and psycho-emotional status among inmates participating in "Roots to freedom"-project during the first implementation year. Inmates participated in growing plot garden and box garden including a cooking course, or maintenance of the yards during the summer 2013. Participants filled a questionnaire consisting of open ended questions and scaled statements in the beginning of the growing season in May and after it in August by themselves or with the assistance of the staff. Thirty inmates completed both questionnaires. Horticulture was reported to activate participants, give opportunities to strengthen self-esteem by using former knowledge and skills and learning new ones, and to increase confidence in coping after release. Success was experienced and perseverance learned by harvesting crops. Group activities contributed to the social interaction among inmates, and between inmates and staff. By positive feedback from others, inmates identified favorable characteristics in themselves which encouraged mutual relationships. Horticulture seemed to be a mean to execute on-site activities supporting rehabilitation by creating affordances of everyday life in a restricted environment.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the XXIX International Horticultural Congress on Horticulture: Sustaining Lives, Livelihoods and Landscapes (IHC2014) : XII International People Plant Symposium: Horticulture and Human Communities
EditorsS. A. Park, E. Rappe
Number of pages7
Place of PublicationLeuven
PublisherInternational Society for Horticultural Science, ISHS
Publication date2016
Pages19-25
ISBN (Print)978-94-62611-19-1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2016
MoE publication typeA4 Article in conference proceedings
EventInternational Horticultural Congress on Horticulture - Brisbane, Australia
Duration: 17 Aug 201417 Aug 2014
Conference number: 29

Publication series

NameActa Horticulturae
PublisherISHS
Number1121
ISSN (Print)0567-7572
ISSN (Electronic)2406-6168

Fields of Science

  • 415 Other agricultural sciences
  • gardening
  • prison
  • green care
  • well-being
  • imprisonment
  • coping
  • psychoemotional well-being

Cite this

Rappe, E., Kajander, H., Vesamäki, J., & Malinen, A. (2016). Horticulture in rehabilitation of inmates. In S. A. Park, & E. Rappe (Eds.), Proceedings of the XXIX International Horticultural Congress on Horticulture: Sustaining Lives, Livelihoods and Landscapes (IHC2014): XII International People Plant Symposium: Horticulture and Human Communities (pp. 19-25). (Acta Horticulturae; No. 1121). Leuven: International Society for Horticultural Science, ISHS . https://doi.org/10.17660/ActaHortic.2016.1121.4