Recommended NZ | Guide to Money | Gimme: Competitions - Giveaways

Prison Gardens Produce Christmas Cheer To City Missions

Read More:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media
Prison Gardens Produce Christmas Cheer To City Missions

Christchurch and Wellington City Missions have received a hefty dose of Christmas cheer courtesy of Corrections Inmate Employment (CIE) nurseries at Christchurch Men's and Rimutaka prisons.

Over 300 kilograms of lettuces, potatoes, carrots and cabbages were dropped off at the Christchurch City Mission today. All these vegetables have been grown by prisoners in a certified organic training garden at Christchurch Men's Matapuna Special Treatment Unit.

Christchurch City Missioner Michael Gorman says the Mission is incredibly grateful for the donation. They expect to feed more than 700 people Christmas lunch on Saturday.

While the Rimutaka Prison garden in the Violence Prevention Unit is still in development, they have provided the Wellington City Mission with over 100 kilograms of lettuces, broad beans and cauliflowers for Christmas Day lunch.

"Corrections Inmate Employment has established Mission Gardens at both the Matapuna Special Treatment Unit and Rimutaka's Violence Prevention Unit as an extension of our training delivery. These gardens are also an integral part of the therapeutic process of these units," says CIE Horticulture Manager Stu Whyte.

"In addition to producing vegetables for donation to the City Missions and other charitable agencies on an ongoing basis, prisoners are working towards National Certificates in Horticulture and addressing ways to counter their offending and change their attitudes and beliefs related to criminal lifestyles.

"They are being taught a range of horticultural techniques, which will result in a broad range of produce for donation and could help them gain sustainable employment in the horticulture industry on release. The added benefit is that we've been able to give something back to the community and assist in making Christmas just a little bit easier for some people," Stu says.

Research shows that prisoners who find sustainable employment on release are less likely to re-offend.

All articles and comments on have been submitted by our community of users. Please notify us if you believe an item on this site breaches our community guidelines.