Greenfingers and Bastoy Prison

I think I may have just found my favorite new movie. Staring Clive Owen and Helen Mirren, Greenfingers is a movie about a group of prisoners who are moved to an experimental prison in a beautiful location with no handcuffs, no bars, no jail cells. The inmates do a variety of work: laundry, janitorial work, etc. in order to gain job concrete skills they can use their release. They also have great perks like getting to see their families frequently.

Clive Owen and a group of fellow prisoners are given the task of creating a garden that catches the eye of a famous gardener in the UK and that’s just the beginning.

Gardens and prison reform, two incredibly inspirational topics.

I first began thinking about our prison industrial complex more deeply after seeing Angela Davis speak in Tacoma. It is atrocious that the American prison system replicates our deeply racist and classist beliefs designed to keep undesirables (read: people of color) out of general society. This of course removes any threat that the incarcerated (or released felons for that matter) might, say, vote, get a college education, or have any power to change the way our stratified society runs.

Which is why the prison in Greenfingers where they treat the prisoners like human beings is so incredible. Greenfingers is loosely based off of a true story. For another true story, check out Bastoy Prison in Norway where every prisoner is considered to be worthy of rehabilitation, even rapists and murders. The goal of Bastoy Prison is not punishment, but to help people become productive and law-abiding citizens of society again. The fact that it’s an environmentally sustainable green prison is icing on the cake.


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