Green Corrections

Green Corrections web_admin Thu, 01/06/2022 - 10:10
Image was created to provide a forum between providers of sustainable products and services and correctional administrators. The website promotes dialogue, provides news on sustainable projects in corrections and provides training and technical assistance networking services.

Philadelphia's Prison System is Fighting Food Waster and Recidivism with an Organic Farm
McKeever, Amy, 2016

The unique prison program diverts over 650 tons of food waste a year into compost and is training inmates to farm without chemicals.

Green Corrections Symposium Notes
National Institute of Corrections (NIC) Information Center, 2014

Best practices within the green corrections framework of correctional facilities, education and training, and reentry programs.

What is the Green Corrections Initiative?

The NIC Green Corrections Initiative seeks to increase awareness among corrections professionals about environmental issues related to the practice of corrections and focus attention on the need to make correctional facilities more energy and resource efficient. The initiative also explores the feasibility of introducing green-collar job readiness training programs in facilities, assessing the capability of correctional industries to adopt ”green” practices, and identifying strategies to assess cost saving options for correctional agencies that operate self-sustaining facilities and programs.

The NIC publication, The Greening of Corrections: Creating a Sustainable System, provides a background for this initiative and highlights four main recommendations for the greening of prisons and jails.


  1. Create a Sustainability Work Group

  2. Hold a Retreat for Your Executive Team

  3. Implement Budget Savings Strategies and Offender Employment Opportunities

  4. Performance Management: Inspect What You Expect

The initial scope of the NIC Green Corrections Initiative included provision of technical assistance support for three states: Minnesota, Washington, and Maryland. These states worked to develop strategic plans for implementing or improving green corrections programs in their local area. A summary of the technical assistance results can be found in The Green Corrections Project: Action Plans and Lessons Learned. Project outcomes also included the creation of a community of practice to promote the use of green practices throughout country. From the community of practice and strategic plans, a framework for green corrections will be created and shared nationally.

The Green Corrections Challenge is one answer to capturing a wider array of opportunities. Through crowdsourcing, the Challenge calls on citizens, students, and professionals in criminal justice to contribute to the knowledge base of ideas available for being and doing "green"; in corrections.

Exciting Resources

About The Green Corrections Challenge

About The Green Corrections Challenge web_admin Thu, 01/06/2022 - 14:57

For years, the National Institute of Corrections (NIC) has supported growth of green corrections as a professional discipline through research, technical assistance, and the sharing of information through resources housed in its Information Center, the largest library in the United States dedicated to corrections information. NIC's work greatly expanded the availability of resources on green corrections for the field, providing correctional stakeholders with ready access to information that could help them implement green corrections programs in their own local areas.

The Greening of Corrections: Creating a Sustainable System was among the latest documents published by NIC in the area of green corrections and was the catalyst for creating the Green Corrections Challenge. The document outlined the framework for creating green corrections programs and applying green processes to corrections operations. Yet, despite the publication's breadth, it captured only a small portion of possibilities available for implementing green corrections. The Green Corrections Challenge is one answer to capturing a wider array of opportunities. Through the challenge, citizens, students, and professionals in criminal justice are called on to contribute to the knowledge base of ideas available for being "green" in corrections.

The Green Corrections Challenge consists of three related activities:

The Green Corrections Challenge: Inviting stakeholders to share their innovative practices and drive competition in the field. These should be replicable programs and practices in areas such as reentry programs, facilities management/complex operations, and training programs. Leading innovations will be announced during a Green Corrections Symposium.

The Green Corrections Symposium: Bringing together agency experts and national stakeholders to share best practices and learn about innovations from the field.

The Green Corrections Innovation Webinars: Featuring four innovations from the Challenge. Details about the selected innovations will be shared with the larger corrections community and interested stakeholders after leading innovations are announced.

As described in the Greening of Corrections: Creating a Sustainable System, the four areas that form the foundation of green corrections include:

  • Building icon

    Correctional facilities that consider energy use and efficiency, water and waste management, recycling programs, and other facilities management practices.

  • Education icon

    Education and training that provide offenders with the relevant skills, competencies, and credentials to support a continuum of learning opportunities during a transition to a greener economy.

  • Reentry icon

    Reentry programs that are reconfiguring to integrate new green skills and competencies or creating new programs driven by an increased demand for green goods and services.

  • Industries icon

    Correctional industries addressing sustainability efforts ranging from:

    • Creating core business strategies for sustainable production processes and practices
    • Developing new strategic partnerships
    • Producing and distributing environmentally friendly products and services
    • Preparing offenders for the most relevant skills for the emerging green economy

Entry Forms for the Green Corrections Challenge

Entry Forms for the Green Corrections Challenge web_admin Thu, 01/06/2022 - 14:18
windmills over solar panels
  1. Download the two forms below.

  2. Complete and sign each form.

  3. Email the completed forms to bop-nic/

The Greening of Corrections: Creating a Sustainable System

The Greening of Corrections: Creating a Sustainable System web_admin Thu, 01/06/2022 - 14:52

What are viable strategies for cutting costs while protecting the public’s safety? Corrections can achieve some substantial cost savings in sustainability or greening strategies. This publication “provides correctional professionals with a framework to gain a general understanding of sustainability practices and principles and to identify examples of operations, programs, and management strategies for self-sustaining facilities” (p. ii). Sections of this publication include: introduction; greening of correctional facilities; completing the sustainable model—preparing and training inmates; correctional industries—creating sustainable products/services and a green workforce; green reentry programs; recommendations for greening prisons and jails; and conclusion—the sustainable correctional/detention facility of the future.

Read the PDF

Links and Resources

Links and Resources web_admin Thu, 01/06/2022 - 14:27

Green Corrections Challenge

Green Corrections Challenge web_admin Thu, 01/06/2022 - 14:49
When environment, economy, and society overlap, there is sustainability

Green corrections is what happens when we apply green principles to everyday practices in corrections. Even more simply put, it's applying what we know helps people save money, energy, and time in their personal lives and applying it wisely to relevant processes throughout America's correctional system. As the field of corrections changes, the need to begin approaching corrections problems with smarter, greener solutions becomes clearer.

The Green Corrections Challenge lays the foundation for future green corrections work, developing a strong community of individuals who are driving innovation through competition in the field.

The Green Corrections Challenge is also your chance to share with us your new ideas and effective best practices for green corrections. Whether you're a citizen concerned about public safety or a student or professional in the field, you probably have a few good ideas. You may have thought of creative ways to conserve energy in a facility, provide job training, save fuel, or reduce time. You may be part of innovations for pretrial, offender reentry, visitation, faith-based programs, college and university initiatives, job training, or building design. There are numerous combinations and unlimited possibilities. Some of them are ones that only you've thought of.

In a presentation of 7 minutes or less, we want you to tell us your idea or practice. We've created three primary categories (correctional facilities, education and training, and reentry programs) and one additional category for new green concepts (for ideas that don't fit neatly into one of the other three areas). You can submit one presentation for each category, giving you up to four different opportunities to share.

The creators of a presentation from each category will be selected for the opportunity to share their idea or practice in a webinar hosted by the National Institute of Corrections. In the webinar, you'll be able to share how your suggestion would be implemented.

With a little creativity, each of us can play a role in invigorating the field with new ideas—your ideas—on how to apply green practices and help make a difference in thousands of lives.

Green Corrections Challenge - FAQ

Green Corrections Challenge - FAQ web_admin Thu, 01/06/2022 - 14:53
  1. When is the deadline for submissions?

    Early November

  2. What will I be judged on?

    Presentations will be judged on the following criteria:

    • Overall innovation of program or practice.
    • Ability to describe an innovative program or practice.
    • Ability to demonstrate the success of a program or practice through measurable outcomes.
    • Creativity and originality.
  3. What are the prizes?

    Winners will be invited to participate in a webinar to share their video presentation and innovative practice with the larger corrections community.

  4. Is there a monetary award?

    No, there is no monetary award for the Green Corrections Challenge.

  5. When will the decision of the winners be made?

    Winners will be announced on or before November 21, 2014.

  6. Who can enter?

    Complete rules and eligibility requirements are available at

  7. Can entries be disqualified?

    Yes, entries can be disqualified if the presentation contains inappropriate content, use of copyrighted materials, or has problems with length. Entries that do not include the appropriate forms will also be disqualified. All forms are available at

  8. What forms do I need to fill out, and where should I send them?

    All entries must include the following forms:

    • Entry Form and Certification
    • Release and Consent Form

    Scan and then e-mail all completed forms to bop-nic/

  9. How do I submit my presentation?

    All presentations should be saved to a disc and then mailed to NIC headquarters, care of The Green Corrections Challenge. Complete instructions are available at

  10. How many entries can I submit?

    Only one presentation may be submitted per category, per organization. For example, if you or your organization wants to enter a presentation in each one of the four challenge categories, that would be permissible. However, if you want to submit more than one presentation in a single category, only first entry would be accepted and reviewed.

  11. In what format should I submit my project?

    All presentations must be created using presentation software, such as Microsoft PowerPoint or Prezi. For more information, see the official rules at

  12. There are four categories for the contest. How do I determine which category my presentation fits in?

    First read the Greening of Corrections: Creating a Sustainable System guide. 
    The guide provides a description of programs that would fit into the challenge categories of Correctional Facilities, Education and Training, and Reentry. The final category, Green Innovations, includes any cross-cutting or new innovations that do not clearly fit into the other categories.

    In short, the categories are defined as follows:

    • Correctional Facilities - Consider energy use and efficiency, water and waste management, recycling programs, and other facilities management practices.
    • Education and Training - Green programs like these provide offenders with the relevant skills, competencies, and credentials to support a continuum of learning opportunities during a transition to a greener economy.
    • Reentry Programs - Integrate new green skills and competencies or create new programs driven by an increased demand for green goods and services.
    • Green Innovations - Correctional programs and practices that do not meet the definition and criteria of the other challenge categories fit here.
  13. How can I tell if my program is “green”?

    In the Greening of Corrections, you will find reference to the phrase “triple bottom line.” This is a way of looking at things that provides a framework for considering sustainability in corrections. Specifically, as noted in the publication, the triple bottom line “incorporates sustainability into business decisions by considering the social, environmental (or ecological), and financial aspects of a program. Any program can be “green” if it considers these dimensions.”

  14. How many people can work on one presentation?

    There is no limit to the number of people who can work on one presentation.

  15. My facility has strict rules about photographing and filming inmates. Can I submit a presentation without pictures of people?

    Presentations do not need to include the faces of justice-involved clients or other individuals. However, presentations are strongest when they tell the story of the work that you are doing. So, regardless of whether your presentation includes pictures of people or not, be sure to support your presentation’s content with facts and data that can help tell your story. These data should help show the effectiveness of your program or process. Then include information about how your ideas or strategies could be replicated in other locations.

  16. What equipment do I need?

    You don’t need expensive equipment to make a presentation for the Green Corrections Challenge. Any presentation software that will yield an acceptable presentation format will work. You can use a smart phone, flip phone, digital camera, or professional equipment to record. Whatever it takes to capture your story will do.

  17. I’ve never created a presentation before. Can you give me some ideas about where to start?

    Before developing your presentation, think about the story you want to tell. Outline what information you want people to learn from your presentation. As you do so, be sure to include data that supports your story and your recommendations on how others may replicate your practice elsewhere. In your presentation, you may want to share video, audio, or still images of photos or news clips. Be creative but know that the presentation’s content is most important.

    Another great tip to help you begin is to brainstorm with colleagues and individuals who have been affected by the program or practice you would like to submit. Ask them for creative ideas on how to present the information.

    Once you have an idea of what the presentation should include, get started.

    Also, click here to visit for technical instructions about how to create a timed, narrated PowerPoint presentation.

  18. How do I create a good presentation?

    First think about your green innovation and how you want to describe it. Then, when planning your submission, consider doing the following:

    When Developing the Presentation:

    • Know you audience. Tailor the subject matter and the tone you use in your presentation to the people who will be viewing your work.
    • Tell a story. Humanize your experience by sharing one or more examples of how your green innovation has helped others or improved correctional operations.
    • Use facts. While stories are important, facts will give your presentation credibility. Your presentation and the results you claim should be believable.
    • Include interesting visuals. A presentation is a multi-sensory experience. Use not only words, but video clips, animation, photos, illustrations, and diagrams to help support your position.
    • Be memorable. Create your presentation the way you wish more people would create them. Let it be interactive, intelligent, and interesting.

    If You Are Recording a Live Presentation:

    • Ensure that the frame is in focus.
    • Check the resolution.
    • Ensure there is adequate light.
    • If you are using a camera phone, hold the device horizontally and at eye level when filming.
    • Be careful when using zoom.
    • Make sure there is light source is behind you.
    • Try to record where there are no loud noises like ambulances passing, nearby construction, or people talking in the next office.
    • Make a script, and then practice saying the script several times before recording.
    • Look in the mirror. Be sure your tie is straight or that your hair is in place before filming.

    If You Are Recording From a Desktop/Laptop:

    • Use slides to support your voiceover. While you may read directly from your slides, many people who sit through presentations like these find it unbearable. Try to overlap your slide content with an interesting story or other audio.
    • Check your slides for spelling, grammar, and other errors.
    • Make a script, and then practice saying the script several times before recording.
    • Practice giving the presentation before a live audience for real-time feedback.
    • Ensure that you capture the full presentation area of the screen you're recording.
  19. Can I use copyrighted materials?

    No copyrighted materials (music, images, etc.) may be used for this contest unless you own the copyright or have a license to use the material. Written permission must be obtained and provided upon request for all copyrighted materials.

  20. What will happen to the presentation submissions after the contest?

    Winning presentations will be shown at the Green Corrections Symposium during the Innovation Webinars, and then later posted to the NIC website.

  21. What is the purpose of the challenge?

    Innovation and green practices are being practiced in communities across the country, but if people don’t know about them, we can’t learn from them and others can’t implement new programs and replicate best and evidence-based practices.

    The Green Corrections Challenge aims to educate practitioners in the field of corrections about the numerous opportunities available for implementing green programs. It will also help people understand that green corrections is about more than saving energy; it includes education, training, and reentry programs.

  22. Why should I submit a presentation?

    Research shows that people learn by doing. People also learn well when they receive information in a format that is accessible and easy to understand. In this case, that format is a presentation. In addition, your facilities and programs are doing great work. This challenge is an opportunity for you to share this information with your colleagues in other states and communities so they can learn from you and possibly implement similar programs. While there are many resources available about green corrections in The Greening of Corrections, through the NIC Information Center, and elsewhere, we know there are still thousands of great ideas being implemented around the country. We want to know about those ideas so that more people can implement them, too. Your presentation will help us do that.

  23. Can we partner with NIC on the Green Corrections Challenge?

    If you want to partner with NIC or otherwise participate in the Green Corrections Challenge beyond submitting a presentation, please contact us at bop-nic/ Also visit for more information. There, you will find a series of resources that you can use to share information about the Challenge with your colleagues.

  24. Who do I contact if I have additional questions?

    Email your Green Corrections Challenge questions to bop-nic/

Official Rules of the Green Corrections Challenge

Official Rules of the Green Corrections Challenge web_admin Thu, 01/06/2022 - 14:39
A lit lightbulb on a green background

Each entry must meet the following requirements. Entries not meeting each of the requirements will be disqualified.


  1. Presentations must be the original creation of the contest participant.
  2. Presentations must have a unique title.
  3. Presentations must be developed for consideration in one of the following categories:
    • Correctional Facilities
    • Education and Training
    • Reentry Programs
    • New Green Corrections Concepts
  4. Presentations must describe a program or activity. Supporting information or measurable outcomes such as cost savings and information on how to replicate or expand the program or activity is strongly encouraged.
  5. Presentations must be educational, not promotional in nature (i.e., a commercial for a product or service) and should tell a story.

Presentation Format

  1. Presentations may be no longer than 7 minutes (420 seconds) in length.
  2. Must be viewable as a timed presentation with voiceover.


  1. Presentations may not include creative material including personal appearances, images, original writing, music, photography or illustrations that infringe on any third party rights without appropriate permission secured from the holder of such rights and provided with the submission of the Entry Form. Presentations previously developed by the contest participant for other organizations may be submitted.
  2. Presentations must not have been previously produced for compensation, posted on any DOJ/NIC or FHI 360 webpage, or submitted to DOJ prior to the contest.
  3. Presentations may not incorporate the use of the DOJ/NIC seal or logo or the FHI 360 logo.
  4. Presentations may not contain violence, profanity, sex, images of a prurient nature, or direct attacks on individuals or organizations.

Contest Participants

  1. The challenge forms (including the Entry Form and Certification and Release and Consent Form) must be submitted together in a single e-mail to bop-nic/
  2. Only one presentation may be submitted per organization.
  3. All presentations, accompanied by the Entry Form and Certification and a single file of Presentation Release and Consent Forms, must be received by mail no later than 11:59 pm ET on November 3, 2014 at National Institute of Corrections
    c/o Green Corrections Challenge
    500 First Street, NW
    Washington, DC 20154
  4. Only one presentation may be submitted per organization.
  5. Entrants are responsible for obtaining all necessary permissions. All Contest submissions must adhere to the rules of the contest.
  6. Winners must provide a copy of the original presentation to the Hosts and, if requested, a transcript of words spoken or sung in the voiceover.

Questions can be e-mailed to Also view the FAQ page.

Download the Official Rules document here.


The U.S. Department of Justice, National Institute of Corrections (hereafter DOJ/NIC) and FHI 360 (the “Hosts”) are sponsoring Share Your Green Practices, a contest to share innovative practices within correctional systems and reentry programs. The Hosts are looking for creative presentations from state, county and city departments of corrections and correctional facilities, including correctional contractors, and appropriate partners such as nonprofit organizations, faith-based organizations and probation and parole offices. Presentations should focus on innovative practices and how those practices may be replicated elsewhere and must highlight at least one innovative strategy. Strong presentations will include measurable outcomes, such as cost savings, energy and waste savings, or reduction in recidivism/increased employment placement.

Basic Criteria, Categories, and Winner Recognition

Presentations will be judged on the following criteria:

  • Overall innovation of program or practice.
  • Ability to describe an innovative program or practice.
  • Ability to demonstrate success of program or practice through measurable outcomes.
  • Creativity and originality.

One award will be given in each the following categories:

  • Reentry program
  • Facilities management / complex operations
  • Training program
  • Other / miscellaneous (The hosts reserve the right to change the title of this category upon award.)

National recognition of winners in each category will include:

  • Feature of their innovative practice and video presentation during a national webinar.
  • Promotion and dissemination of their green practices within the greater corrections community by NIC.

Important Dates

  • Submission Period: April 10, 2014 to November 3, 2014, 11:59 pm ET
  • Judging Period: November 4 to November 17, 2014, 11:59 pm ET
  • Winners Announced: On or before November 21, 2014

Contest Participant Eligibility

The Contest is open to local, state and federal agencies, partners including nonprofit organizations and faith-based organizations, and contractors providing services to correctional organizations in the United States and its territories including, but not limited to, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and Guam.

The use of federal funding, whether grant, contract or loan proceeds in the development and/or production of any video entry will result in immediate disqualification.

How to Enter the Contest

Interested persons should read the Background and Official Rules before entering the contest. Contest information and entry forms are available here.

In addition to creating an original video presentation, contest participants must:

  1. Download Consent and Release Forms for each individual appearing or providing original material for use in the presentation, and secure the original signatures of each participant or contributor; parents or legal guardians must sign for anyone under age 18.
  2. Complete the Entry Form and Certification found at
  3. Complete the Entry Form and Certification.
  4. Submit the entry forms (including the Entry Form and Certification and Release and Consent Form) together in a single e-mail to bop-nic/
  5. Save a copy of the presentation with voiceover to a compact disc and mail to: National Institute of Corrections
    c/o Green Corrections Challenge
    500 First Street, NW
    Washington, DC 201534

Presentations may be entered into only one of the four specified categories. Please note that the contest participant cannot make any changes or alterations to any part of the submission once the presentation and entry forms have been submitted. All presentations will be screened by FHI 360 for compliance with contest rules. Failure to meet all contest rules will result in disqualification from the contest.


One winner will be selected for each of the four specified categories. Contest winners (collectively, “Winners”) will be notified by email on or before November 21, 2014 and their names will be posted on the contest and/or NIC website. In the event a winner is disqualified for any reason, DOJ/NIC may select an alternate contest participant to receive the award.

Winners will be invited to participate in a webinar to share their presentation and innovative practice with the larger corrections community.

The Hosts may choose to hold an awards ceremony to announce the Winners. In the event an awards ceremony is held, any travel arrangements, including transportation, lodging, meals and incidental expenses will be the sole responsibility of the Winner.


The Hosts will conduct an initial screening of all submissions and make a determination with respect to the eligibility of each Contest participant and their presentation.

The Hosts will create four volunteer judging panels – one for each of the four specified categories. Each judging panel will be comprised of three to five volunteer judges chosen from federal agencies involved in green activities, national nonprofit stakeholders and/or industry. Each judge will be screened by FHI 360 to ensure he/she does not have a familial relationship or a personal or financial interest in any contest participant.

Winners will be selected based on an overall score against the stated criteria. All judging is in the Hosts’ sole discretion and all decisions are final. In the event of a tie, the Winner will be selected at the discretion of the Hosts.

The Hosts reserve the right to eliminate any of the four stated award categories if, in their sole discretion, it is determined that there are no eligible submissions or if eligible submissions are judged to be of poor quality.


The Hosts and their agents are not responsible for:

  • Any incorrect or inaccurate information, whether caused by contest participants, printing errors, or by any of the equipment or programming associated with or utilized in the contest
  • Technical failure of any kind, including, but not limited to malfunctions, interruptions or disconnections in phone lines or network hardware or software
  • Technical or human error which may occur in the administration of the contest or the processing of entries
  • Any injury or damage to persons or property which may be caused, directly or indirectly, in whole or in part, from contest participant’s participation in the contest or receipt, use or misuse of any prize.

If for any reason a contest participant’s entry is confirmed to have been erroneously deleted, lost, or otherwise destroyed or corrupted, the contest participant’s sole remedy is another entry in the contest.

General Conditions

Contest hosts are the U.S. Department of Justice, National Institute of Corrections, 500 First St. NW, 2nd Floor Washington, DC 20534, (DOJ/NIC) and Family Health International (FHI 360), 1825 Connecticut Ave, NW, Washington, DC 20009. The Hosts will make all decisions related to the development, management, and implementation of the contest.

The Hosts reserve the right at any time, for any reason, to cancel, suspend, and/or modify the contest, or any part of it.

Privacy Policy

Any personal information collected from presentation submitters to the DOJ/NIC FHI 360 Share Your Green Practices Video Contest 2014 will never be sold. The information collected for this Contest will only be used for purposes of the contest to contact presentation submitters in direct relation to the contest. The contest winners’ names will be announced publicly as a part of DOJ/NIC’s contest award recognition process.

Applicable Law

This contest is subject to all applicable Federal laws and regulations.

Download the Background document.