The National Institute of Corrections (NIC) and the US Department of Energy (DOE) hosted the first national workgroup on sustainability in corrections in Aurora, Colorado. April 24-28 and GreenPrisons was there.


Participants left to right: Kevin Orme, Indiana, Bailey Waits, Memphis, TN,

Deborah Hysen, CA, Colby Barbier, Lafayette, LA, Chad Naugle, OR, Charlie Hines, BOP,

Tommy Norris, GreenPrisons, Tony Stines, NIC, Lois Fegan, VA, Leah Morgan, OH,

Barry Brady, Marion County KY, Alice Dasek, DOE


The meeting was facilitated by Stacy Fitzsimmons of SNF writing Solutions. With Stacy’s guidance the group developed the first comprehensive look at sustainability in corrections and drafted a list of specific outcomes the group would like to see accomplished in the coming months ahead.


The workgroup identified 14 specific outcomes they would like to see accomplished in the coming months.  Key among these proposed outcomes was development of a central repository on sustainability that all agencies could tap into for planning and comparison purposes as they developed their own sustainability plans.


This led to a visit to the NIC Information Center, the country’s only national recognized collection point for all things corrections related.  The group met with Eric Bauer of the Information Center and his staff, and he pledged his support to the project as it gathered substance and began to have data to report.


Other objectives to come out of the group included a linking of existing Accreditation Standards so that sustainable practices could be used as supporting documentation for standards other than 4-4003, the current sustainability standard.  The group also suggested that thought should be given to determine if additional standards promoting sustainability should be developed with more specific requirements than the current standard.


The group also urged the identification of a pool of consultants that could be available to agencies to provide assistance on specific projects such as energy or water reduction or to assist an agency in developing an overall sustainability strategic plan.  Consistent with the identification of consultants the group also recommended the establishment of “host sites” who would encourage visits from other correctional managers so they could observe first hand successful programs of all kinds from horticulture to energy, from composting to recycling. 


The meeting and the results of the meeting will be a primary topic of the semi-annual meeting of the ACA Sustainability Committee.  Everyone in attendance at the conference is encouraged to come by the meeting at 1:00 PM on Saturday, August 19 to learn more.

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