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GreenPrisons and Sustainability In the Age of COVID

As GreenPrisons begins its eleventh year we are challenged by the restrictions COVID has brought to our operation not unlike those that every correctional agency has experienced. The disruption this disease has brought to every correctional facility across the country is unprecedented.

This disruption has impacted sustainable operations as well. With most if not all correctional facilities operating on some kind of locked down status, inmate crews have not been available to continue gardening, recycling and similar green programs. Sustainability managers, because of their unique skill sets, have been re-tasked to COVID related duties including ensuring that there is enough Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). Financial resources for new technology and programs have evaporated as agencies struggle to but PPE, air filtering systems and the like. Yet the need to maintain our environmental efforts, reduce energy costs, and provide meaningful work for offenders is still getting done.

GreenPrisons plan over the coming months is, with your help, to continue to tell those stories, introduce new products, programs and technologies, and continue to sustain this movement as we work to get back to some form of normal. You are encouraged to share your stories about how your prison, jail, or community corrections facility is managing COVID, particularly how you continue to work to achieve your sustainability goals. Do you have a sustainability strategic plan you can share? If you have a plan, how have you had to modify it in light of COVID? What new technologies have you brought on to either combat COVID or save money and resources through your green efforts?

Anything you submit to us for publication in this space should be no more than 500 words and if you include pictures (which would be great) please have photo releases, particularly if they include faces.

To submit an article just forward it as an email attachment to If you want to talk over the content of your piece just give me a call at 859-582-1900.

In addition to what you send me I will also continue to share with you what I learn about what’s going on around the country as well as updates from the ACA Sustainability committee. In the coming weeks we will re-introduce the GreenPrisons newsletter and perhaps even delve into new technologies like ZOOM meetings or podcasts on selected topics.

Continue to watch this space to learn about what’s new in sustainability in corrections and how you can share your expertise with your fellow correctional practitioners.

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