From Concrete Box to LEED-Certified

Prisons around the country are looking less and less like the typical concrete box; Washington state has 34 LEED-certified prisons, some of which offer "green work" programs.

"This fall, the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation announced 16 new green retrofitting projects, which they estimate will save $3 million in energy costs each year. The state already has solar power fields at two facilities, and plans to build six more in the coming year. A new $176 million juvenile detention facility in Alameda County - home to Berkeley and Oakland - recently became the country's first jail to receive LEED gold certification.

Other green projects - from wind turbines to biomass boilers - have been announced by Departments of Corrections in Virginia, Nevada and Indiana.

Mike Callahan, the physical plant director at the Putnamville Correctional Facility in Indiana, says the facility's biomass boiler alone, which burns scrap wood from the prison's pallet industry, has saved $6,300 a day in gas bills."

Full Story: Greening the Prison-Industrial Complex

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