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Five Urban Farms Tackling the School-to-Prison Pipeline

By Morgan Bulger

Read about Seattle Youth Garden Works featured in this article about urban farms providing alternatives to the school-to-prison pipeline.

The impact of the school-to prison pipeline is stark: zero-tolerance policies in struggling, school districts result in many students, mainly low-income, African American males being incarcerated at high rates, according to this infographic from the American Civil Liberties Union .

The U.S. incarceration rate is the highest of any country in the world, and this rate is particularly high for urban cities throughout the country. Once incarcerated, individuals re-entering the world and workforce struggle to find employment, because of their criminal record. This added barrier can lead many who have a history of incarceration to turn back to alternative economies that often end them back up in America’s prison system.

One social intervention for this systemic problem is coming from innovative urban farms. Across the country, urban farms are beginning to employ individuals who would otherwise struggle to find stable employment, and through job-training programs, are assisting the previously incarcerated or at-risk or youth, helping them towards educational attainment and stable full-time employment.

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