Artichokes and fresh veggies: taking the rural out of prison

Policek, Nicoletta (2017) Artichokes and fresh veggies: taking the rural out of prison. Journal of Corporate Citizenship, 2017 (68). pp. 95-108.

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Official URL: https://doi.org/10.9774/TandF.4700.2017.de.00009

Abstract

The unique challenges of rurality for communities and business are explored here with reference to the horticultural project within the only female prison in Italy, located in the Giudecca island in Venice. Since 1994, inmates here have transformed the rurality of the geographical location of the prison with its six thousand square meters of cultivable land, into a lucrative business able to generate emotional and financial wellbeing. The first part of this contribution highlights how by introducing and sustaining the method of organic farming when growing vegetables to be sold at the local market, the women incarcerated set up a social enterprise, undoubtedly able to challenge the social sources of the ecological and financial crisis faced by the city of Venice - culturally and geographically positioned away from any rural environment. As well as a form of self-redemption as stated in the law 26 July 1975, n 354, which identifies employment either inside or outside a penal institution as one of the key elements for the rehabilitation of offenders, in the Italian financial landscape “taking the rural out of prison” and turning it into a lucrative enterprise tells a story of how at times it is possible to halt, albeit momentarily, a spiral of poverty and financial hardship. The counterpart of this endeavor is discussed in the concluding section of this contribution which aims to put under scrutiny the almost oxymoronic rubric of “green capitalism” which in the context of Italy rests in the production of a paramount contradiction: the clash between an economy once based on unending agricultural growth and the current desiccation of the natural environment.

Item Type: Article
Journal or Publication Title: Journal of Corporate Citizenship
Publisher: Greenleaf Publishing
ISSN: 2051-4700
Departments: Policing, Criminology & Social Sciences
Depositing User: Nicoletta Policek
Date Deposited: 24 May 2018 10:04
Last Modified: 24 May 2018 10:04
URI: http://insight.cumbria.ac.uk/id/eprint/3796

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