Roots to Re-Entry provides citizens transitioning back into their communities from the Philadelphia Prison System with the tools and support they need to obtain meaningful employment in the horticulture and landscape industries.
Designed in collaboration with a strategic employer network, the program’s curriculum includes intensive hands-on training in horticulture, landscape maintenance, greenhouse operations, organic land care, hardscaping, nursery management, carpentry and wood working, irrigation and other green industry skill sets, as well as health and job preparedness workshops.
Since 2010, the recidivism rate for R2R graduates has been 30 percent, as compared to the average rate of 65 percent for the entire population of Philadelphia ex-offenders.
- With training from PHS staff, inmates of the Philadelphia Prison System receive instruction in gardening and landscape management
- Intensive hands-on training focuses on horticultural practices, landscape maintenance, greenhouse operations, carpentry, and masonry skill sets
- The training also includes course work in workforce literacy, job readiness, health education, and occupational therapy
- Upon completion, program participants will receive post release support from PHS and our partners, including job placement helping inmates make the transition to life outside the prison walls.
How Roots to Re-Entry Works
Selected inmates receive 12 weeks of training, which includes workforce literacy, health and job preparedness workshops offered through the Federation of Neighborhood Centers: Career Support Network (CSN). Upon graduation, graduates are linked to a network of green industry employers. In addition the Federation of Neighborhood Centers provide one year of post release support. This supports includes but is not limited to aiding graduates with job placement housing, continuing education, healthcare and childcare.
Roots to Re-Entry’s employer partners offer a direct link to the landscaping industry for participants and, at the same time, are helping to develop a new workforce for their industry.
The Roots to Re-Entry Program is made possible through the generous support of:
- Cherry Blossoms Landscaping
- The Division of Housing and Community Developement
- Kaiserman Company
- Patricia Kind Family Foundation
- The National Fair Housing Alliance
- The Philadelphia Prison System Board of Trustees
- The Scholler Foundation
- KJK Associates
- Liberty Tree & Landscape Management
- Moon Site Management
- Brickman Group
- Vacant Land care groups
Roots to Re-Entry Partners
- The Philadelphia Prison System
- Defender Association of Philadelphia
- The Division of Housing and Community Development
- Office of the District Attorney
- The Mayor’s Office of Reintegration Services (RISE)
R2R In the News
- Roots to Re-Entry Plants a Seed, Philadelphia Inquirer
- PHS, in collaboration with PPS, will pilot an innovative passive solar greenhouse project while training inmates in greenhouse construction techniques.
- The opening of the new ornamental plant nursery will include a donation of material including perennials, woody trees and shrubs to community gardens as well as other Philadelphia residents.