SPOKANE – The events that bring people to Geiger Correctional Facility may vary, but The Green Sleeves Project is receiving universal approval from the inmates who volunteered to be a part of it.
The Lands Council started the partnership with the Spokane County Sheriff’s Office to not only receive some help with its planting projects, but to help teach valuable skills to inmates that could make them more employable when they return to society.
“There’s a lot of guys in jail that haven’t, whatever the circumstances they’ve grown up with, they haven’t had a good feeling of self-accomplishment and had an impact on the environment,” Geiger Correctional Facility inmate Dwayne Hackley said. “This is a good way to build themselves as well as the environment and the community.”
Inmate Brian Frear, who has a background in general construction, said his new knowledge about planting could really compliment his skill set.
“Not only can I help Grandma plant some carrots, but I’ll be able to do sod and plant trees,” Frear said. “I’ve never planted a tree before and now I’m planting a couple thousand.”
Hackley, too, can’t wait to share his planting skills with his family when he is released in a few months.
“I’m actually looking just to get the knowledge to be able to help our environment and maybe be able to pass that information on to my children,” he said.
The Green Sleeves Project will take inmates on-site to Cooley Creek on Thursday where they will be planting trees. Soon, The Lands Council will begin to teach inmates a classroom component called “Roots of Success,” which is designed specifically for inmates involved in programs like this.