Correctional Facilities

Roots of Success has developed customized curricula for prisons, jails, and juvenile justice facilities in states across the U.S. Roots of Success partners with correctional facilities across the country to promote environmental literacy and successful re-entry for their inmate populations.

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Roots of Success:

  • Empowers inmates to reduce waste and increase energy conservation
  • Saves your facility money and reduces your carbon footprint
  • Prepares inmates for post-secondary education and green careers upon release
  • Inspires inmates to engage in sustainability projects while in prison
  • Promotes positive behavioral change, increased confidence, and leadership development.
  • Familiarizes students with 125+ green jobs and career pathways

Key Features:

  • Modular and adaptable
  • Includes Instructor’s Manual, Student Workbooks, Multimedia Content, Supplemental Resources
  • Professional development for instructors
  • Green Jobs & Career Pathways Guidebook
  • Can be taught by staff or inmates
  • Eligible graduates can apply to receive an Environmental Educator Certificate

Roots of Success is the only evidence-based curriculum created specifically to support facility sustainability and cost saving initiatives.  

What Students Say:


of graduates in correctional facilities were motivated to conserve resources and engage in sustainability projects

Institutions Report:

  • On average, $90,000 reduction in annual trash bills in multiple facilities
  • On average, 60% decrease in electrical usage over 3 years at 9 facilities
  • 12,000 pound reduction in food waste per week at the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction

The Roots of Success curriculum meets the American Correctional Association’s “Sustainability Standard” recognizing strategies that promote environmental responsibility in prisons, jails, and juvenile justice facilities. 

“The facility/agency shall demonstrate they have examed within the audit cycle and where appropriate and feasible, implemented strategies that promote recycling, energy and water conservation, pollution reduction and utilization of renewable energy alternatives.”

The curriculum meets’s guideline requirements for staff and inmate training and results in improved staff and inmate engagement in all other sustainability programs/initiatives. 

“The Amercian Correctional Association fully supports the appropriate short- and long-term cost-effective facilities and materials management strategies that are resource efficient and environmentally responsible. Therefore, public and private agencies at the federal, state and local levels should promote and engage in: (1) Recycling, (2) Composting and gardens, (3) Conserving energy, (4) LEED standards, (5) Renewable energy, (6) Conserving water, (7) Training for staff, and (8) Training for offenders.” 

Roots of Success transforms facility culture and improve behavior.

Roots of Success was the core component that tied together our cultural change in environmental awareness. We had begun recycling and composting. We addressed energy and water conservation, but I knew we needed education to really reach the inmates. Roots of Success took our green initiatives to a new level; it led the change that allowed inmates to be part of the environmental awareness at SCC (Southeastern Correctional Complex). The passion I saw from the inmates was amazing.

Sheri Duffy

Warden, Southeastern Correctional Complex, 2014 American Correctional Association Warden of the Year

Engaging inmates in meaningful activities and giving them opportunities to contribute reduces violence and makes prisons safer for both inmates and staff.

Dan Pocholke

Director, Washington State Prisons

Green Prisons Leaders: Ohio and Washington

The state of Ohio has incorporated Roots of Success at 23 of their institutions, with plans to offer it in all 28. In October, all 3 juvenile facilities in Ohio had instructors and youth trained to teach Roots of Success. The warden at ORDC’s Southeastern Correctional Institution, Sheri Duffey, was named national “Warden of the Year” by the American Correctional Association for bringing Roots of Success to ODRC, developing a robust recycling program, and starting a trout farm. 

Washington correctional facilities currently teach Roots of Success at 8 centers: Airway Heights, Clallam Bay, Coyote Ridge, Larch, Mission Creek Corrections Center for Women, Stafford Creek, Washington Corrections Center for Women, and Washington State Penitentiary. By fall of 2015, Monroe Correctional Complex and Washington Corrections Center will begin their first Roots of Success classes. In May 2015, Roots of Success certified 31 additional instructors, including 6 Master Trainers, throughout the state of Washington, enabling the delivery of Roots of Success at all 12 Washington prisons. The Montgomery County jail in Maryland will offer a self-paced version of Roots of Success in fall 2015. In New York, high school students housed on Rikers Island go through Roots of Success in their science and social science classes and youth enrolled in the ABLE program go through Roots of Success and a CBT program, after which time their sentences are significantly reduced.

How it Works

Get Trained to Teach the Curriculum

One-day training that introduces instructors to our unique teaching approach and materials.

Order Books for Your Program

Provide students with all of the vocabulary terms, exercises, activities, and materials they need for the course

Start Teaching Roos of Success

Instructors are provided with ongoing technical and program support

Provide Graduates with a Certificate

Graduates receive a certificate that is valued by employers across the country.

Schedule a Training

If you are interested in hosting a Roots of Success training for your staff, follow the link to schedule a training today.

Order Books

If you are ready to place your order for Roots of Success Student Workbooks, Green Jobs & Career Pathways Guidebooks, or other materials, follow the link below.

Contact Us

Interested in learning more and would like to chat with our staff to discover how Roots of Success can make an impact on your classroom, reach out to us via email below.