The Book

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At the East Sutton Park Young Offenders Institution and Open Prison in Kent (UK) gardening is used to treat offenders with low self-esteem. Even something as simple as raking fallen leaves on the prison lawn has an instant effect. If they are stressed or disorientated gardening, especially outdoors, delivers instant satisfaction. As twenty-year-old Leah says, “If I’m angry I dig.” Gardening will enjoy a huge surge of popularity in the years ahead because it will be an antidote to the future. It will deliver the solitude and peace and quiet that will be so lacking in peoples’ lives. It will be a way of dealing with too much technology. Washing dishes by hand and baking your own bread will similarly become popular again for the same reasons. They will provide physical results and people will feel that they’ve achieved something – by themselves.

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