What is FAIR?
Each year 500-700 individuals are released from prison and return to Dane County. Mostly African American men, these ex-offenders often find themselves homeless and jobless. These factors create a high-risk situation for failing at reentry and many will end up re-offending and going back to prison. In order to help these individuals and others as well as building community welfare everyone, The Farming After Incarceration Release (FAIR Initiative or FAIR) was created.
This program engages formerly incarcerated individuals in urban agriculture to create an economic opportunity for themselves, families, and neighbors. Not only does it provide a way for a successful reentry process, but also it involves them in cultivating a just local food systems in their own communities.
FAIR links a reentry program with urban agriculture. The goal of the program is to take formerly incarcerated individuals and turn them into food justice leaders for their communities. FAIR provides an opportunity for reentering individuals to break out of the incarceration cycle. The program includes 200 days of paid urban farming and business training – both classroom and field training. Each participant receives a plot of land to grow crops and a spot at their local farmer’s market to sell and profit from everything they have grown. The goal of this program is to give marginalized men skills and experience to make themselves self sufficient and eventually grow their own Neighborhood Food Solutions.