Impact of a nature-based intervention on incarcerated women

Barb Toews (University of Washington Tacoma, Tacoma, Washington, USA)
Amy Wagenfeld (Department of Occupational Therapy, Western Michigan University, Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA)
Julie Stevens (Department of Landscape Architecture, Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa, USA)

International Journal of Prisoner Health

ISSN: 1744-9200

Publication date: 17 December 2018

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to understand the impact of a short-term nature-based intervention on the social-emotional well-being of women incarcerated on a mental health unit in a state prison.

Design/methodology/approach

This research used a mixed method approach with individual interviews, a focus group and a visual analog scale (VAS).

Findings

Qualitative results found that women appreciated the planting party and the way the plants improved the physical environment. Women were also emotionally and relationally impacted by their participation and practiced skills related to planting and working with people. Quantitative results indicate that women were happier, calmer, and more peaceful after the intervention than before.

Research limitations/implications

Study limitations include sample size, self-report data and use of a scale not yet tested for reliability and validity.

Practical implications

Findings suggest that nature-based interventions can serve as an adjunct to traditional mental health therapies in correctional settings. Nature-based interventions can support women’s goals to improve their mental health.

Social implications

Findings suggest that nature-based interventions can serve to improve relationships among incarcerated women, which may make a positive impact on the prison community. Such interventions may also assist them in developing relational and technical skills that are useful upon release.

Originality/value

To date, there is limited knowledge about the impact of nature-based interventions on incarcerated individuals coping with mental health concerns.

Keywords

Citation

Toews, B., Wagenfeld, A. and Stevens, J. (2018), "Impact of a nature-based intervention on incarcerated women", International Journal of Prisoner Health, Vol. 14 No. 4, pp. 232-243. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJPH-12-2017-0065

Download as .RIS

Publisher

:

Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2018, Emerald Publishing Limited

Please note you might not have access to this content

You may be able to access this content by login via Shibboleth, Open Athens or with your Emerald account.
If you would like to contact us about accessing this content, click the button and fill out the form.
To rent this content from Deepdyve, please click the button.