California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation has thrown a screwball at the Vocational Landscaping program at San Quentin. This leaves me and other inmates in the familiar place of incompleteness once again.
I came to San Quentin Nov. 23, 2010 as a Close B inmate who has never been allowed the opportunity to partake in any PIA or vocational trade.
The Board of Prison Hearings has told me to get two vocational trades, participate in self-help groups, and drug prevention programs (AA, NA). I have completed Addiction Recovery Counseling (ARC), as well as a few other self-help programs.
I’m currently in Patten College Program, Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary classes, and Vocational Landscaping.
To take away the Vocational Landscaping would be a big loss to the men in the class, as well as myself.
This class teaches nurturing and the only way we are able to do that is with love — love that a few of us didn’t have growing up, or pushed away because of our addictions. This class has the ability to provide myself and others a core curriculum aimed at not just improving an inmates knowledge in landscaping skills while incarcerated, but allows all races and creeds to work together in a way that isn’t usually done in a prison setting.
We’re all in hopes of returning to society one day, and with this trade, I feel I have an opportunity to obtain legitimate employment.
If included at all 33 California prisons, inmates could grow trees, flowers and use recycled materials to do the landscaping at all state buildings. Using inmate labor would provide a savings to the state and still provide rehabilitation. Vocational Landscaping is a vital part of rehabilitation and should be saved at all cost. If rehabilitation is a goal of the Department of Correction, then Vocational Landscaping is a very effective and cost efficient.