The "solitary gardens" project in New Orleans creates links between prisoners in solitary confinement and volunteer gardeners on the outside. Each garden bed, the size of a solitary confinement cell, grows herbs and flowers chosen by the prisoner and planted by the volunteer. “It was a way of healing the bridge between me being incarcerated and individuals in society,” says one former prisoner who now works in the garden as a form of therapy. The project has spread across the US since Jackie Sumell began it in 2013 to honor a former Black Panther who died shortly after his release from decades in solitary, and to encourage people to imagine a world without prisons.

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