Cultivating new skills  and  meeting new people through the Cultivating Dreams Project

Claremont College seeds gardens and relationships

Cultivating Dreams is a student-run nonprofit organization that oversees an organic garden inside the California Institution for Women (CIW), a women's prison in Corona, California.

The garden is maintained through the collective effort of the women inside and volunteers from the Claremont College community.

Fruits and vegetables grown in the garden are sent in the prison’s main kitchen and the intensive care unit.

The San Mateo Sheriff's Department has been part of an innovative partnership called The Garden Project since 1992

Founded by Catherine Sneed in 1992, The Garden Project was unique in the country. It served continuing education, the environment and provided employment and support to former offenders.

Over the years organic vegetables have been donated to different organizations, including area food pantries. Additionally, The Garden Project has planted thousands of street trees in San Francisco.

The Project, located at the San Francisco County Jail San Bruno Complex, is also a resource for public works projects and serves as an educational resource for children who visit the farm.

The Garden Project is maintained through partnerships with the San Francisco Pubic Utilities Commission, the San Francisco Police Department and more than 25 Community Organizations. For more information call 650-588-8253.


December 20, 2013

Bill Moyers speaks with activist Michelle Alexander about the key to unlocking our dehumanizing system of incarceration, and shares a clip from a film about an ex-convict who helps women get back on their feet after prison.

Sesame Street reaches out to children of incarcerated parents

One in 28 children in the U.S. have a parent in state or federal prison.

A child should be able to talk about his or her mother, or father, without shame.

Sesame Street helps make this happen with a series of videos that humanize parents who made a mistake that resulted in their going to prison.

The creation of Alex, a Sesame Street character, is an important step in recognizing the plight of children who have parents in prison, but not Sesame Street's first step.

In 1977 Sesame Street produced an award-winning documentary, Sesame Street Goes to Prison, addressing the inadequate waiting areas for children visiting parents in prison.

Sesame Street also has online Workshops. has a Little Children, Big Challenges: Incarceration initiative to help parents and caregivers find the language to talk about incarceration with their children, ages 3-8.