MIT Students Team With Nonprofit to Flip a Prison Into an Agricultural Community Center
Group Project, a student group from MIT, is helping GrowingChange, a non-profit that works with previously incarcerated youth, to transform an old North Carolinaprison into an agricultural community center. GrowingChange looks to take advantage of the small, decommissioned prisons scattered throughout the state’s landscape. They see these sites as “places where communities can work together to provide clinical support, education, and vocational training as a means to divert youth from the criminal justice” system.
Read on for more about how prison flipping intends to “counter a legacy of incarceration.”
Rural communities throughout the US live with the egregious legacy of the prison industrial complex. In North Carolina, small workcamp prisons are being closed and inmates are being moved into larger facilities. Meanwhile, incarceration rates continue to rise.
Over the past year, Group Project has worked with the GrowingChange team to develop a series of proposals to transform these prison sites into “Community Kitchens” with sustainable agriculture. The proposals include various spaces that adapt the previously dull interior and exterior of the prison into a lively community hub.
This summer, they will return to North Carolina with a larger group of MIT architecture and planning students to continue their collaborative project.