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Lags get green in the big house

Nice article in this Sunday’s Observer newspaper about some of the environmental and conservation work going on behind bars in some of the UK’s ‘big houses’. Among the new facts Greenbang learnt is that the country’s 140 prisons include nine internationally recognised sites of special scientific interest (SSSIs) and an internationally important wetland.

We’ll let you enjoy the full article for yourself here but one of the projects includes prisoners at Bullingdon near leafy Bicester making bird boxes from scrap wood. The boxes are used in prison grounds and on RSPB sites and the prisoners take home just under a tenner a week (yes that’s per week) for their efforts. It’s not going to change the world, but it’s got to be better than sewing mail bags or sitting in their cells for 24 hours a day playing computer games and watching TV.

There’s even a quote from sex offender Richard:

“It’s amazing what you can do when you’ve got enough time. It’s a lot better than doing nothing. We get a very minimal wage, but we are very self-motivated and enjoy what we do. It does pass the time a lot quicker if you are out here busy, rather than sitting brooding in your cell.”

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