A Racine Correctional Institution inmate spreads his
arms before being searched after an evening of work
in the institution's garden. Inmates chosen for the highly coveted gardening
jobs get to work under open skies and are trusted with rakes, hoes and other
tools that could be used as weapons. At the end of the work day, all tools must
be accounted for and prison gardeners are searched as they leave the garden.
Many of the inmates say they enjoy working in the garden, in part ,because of
the green space and open air. 'The gardening provides an element of control,
an element of nature. And these two things combined provide an interesting
contrast to the barren life of the cells,' says Paul Paulus, a psychology professor at the University of Texas at Arlington who has studied the effects
of prison housing on the well-being of inmates.