"I know that my transition from prison to home will be much more successful by being a part of Alma Backyard Farms. I know that by giving of myself I am building rather than taking, and I realize that prison is less and less a part of me as I engage in positive pro-social activities."
- PROGRAM PARTICIPANT
Alma Backyard Farms was inspired by the voices and ideas shared by juvenile offenders and prisoners eager to transform their lives and communities by "giving back" to the communities they "took from" and were taken away from. For most people experiencing incarceration, there are few opportunities to see and interact with nature and few opportunities to provide nurture to others. Yet few are given the opportunities to learn skills and make that possible.
ALMA has listened to the formerly incarcerated and been inspired by their willingness to reorient their lives as caretakers of community. Recognizing that Los Angeles is a place where no life or space is wasted, ALMA creates multiple opportunities for women and men who were incarcerated to give back to the health and safety of communities by growing food in and for these communities.
Rooted in restorative justice and environmental stewardship, ALMA started in 2013 to implement this project of reclaiming lives, repurposing land and reimagining community. ALMA proposes real solutions to the challenges of California's overcrowded prisons and food injustice in low-income neighborhoods. Recognizing that no lives or land is to be wasted, ALMA creates opportunities for the previously incarcerated to become agents of health, safety and community.