Planting Gardens Behind Bars

Erica Bryant Associate Director of Writing
Aug 04, 2022

The pandemic halted most in-person activities and opportunities in jails and prisons—like classes, religious services, and art programs—all of which made life for incarcerated people bearable. As a result, people who have endured incarceration as COVID-19 has spread have lived in a state of extreme isolation and idleness.

“Men speak about feeling empty or without purpose, a void that was once filled by various programs, personal development classes, and religious services,” wrote David Sell this past May. Sell has spent the pandemic incarcerated at Wende Correctional Facility in Alden, New York. “Souls were depleted when these programs were suspended, and many people are struggling to maintain positive attitudes.”