- Not Exactly Rocket Science
Prisoners do science, help to save endangered butterfly
Conservation work usually involves restoring wildlife and natural habitats. For the people behind the Sustainability in Prisons Project (SPP), conservation work is about restoring people too. The project recruits inmates from prisons around Washington, USA in efforts to protect endangered butterflies, frogs, flowers and mosses. They breed individuals either in the prisons or under supervision in outside facilities. They get training, education and a small wage. And they get a chance to give something to society.
I learned about the project at the Ecological Society of America Annual Meeting, and it was a highlight. These prisoners aren’t just providing manual labour. They’re also creatively tweaking and improving what they do, and rearing animals that put competing facilities to shame. The ones