Public Domain Unsplash Physically and mentally, growing plants without chemicals has a transformative effect. Anyone who has spent time gardening knows the restorative effect it can have. There is something about dirt on one’s hands, the pulling of weeds, and the creation of something beautiful and alive that draws people back, year after year. So it’s no wonder that gardening is being used to rehabilitate prison inmates battling drug addiction. One particular location, at HMP Rye Hill in England, has seen its Mandatory Drug Test failure rate go from 30 percent on average to zero in one year since implementing an organic gardening program. Food Tank reports on the program’s stellar success, saying the HMP’s horticultural program has "improved self-esteem and self-control, better health and wellbeing, a shared community and improved communication among inmates who work toward a common goal, and behavior changes inside and outside the prison." There are numerous reasons for this, as outlined in a report commissioned by HMP . Gardening creates a space that is beautiful, peaceful, and conducive to reflection. It’s a place where the inmates work at their own pace, with minimal presence of guards. "Participants repeatedly write [in their diaries] about the […]

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