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Melanie M. Migura, J.M. Zajicek and L.A. Whittlesey

More than one million people were incarcerated in U.S. prisons at the end of June 1995. Increasing emphasis has been placed on inmate rehabilitation with society's realization that 95% of those incarcerated will be released from prison and returned to society. The responsibility of undertaking the rehabilitation process lies in part with vocational programs, one of which is horticulture. In addition to developing job skills, horticulture may provide another viable means of rehabilitation in the form of horticultural therapy. The women's Federal Prison Camp in Bryan, Texas, implemented the Master Gardener program as part of its vocational training program in March 1991. The prison's Master Gardener program is sponsored by the Texas Agricultural Extension Service and constitutes a horticultural therapy program. More than 225 inmates have completed the program; however, the effectiveness in inmate rehabilitation brought about by such programs has not been extensively documented. Consequently, our objectives were to determine the effects of participation in the Master Gardener program on the locus of control, self-esteem, and life satisfaction of female inmates. About 80 inmates were administered a pretest before the Master Gardener program and an identical posttest at its conclusion. The 55-item questionnaire included a biographical section, a locus of control inventory, a self-esteem inventory, and a life satisfaction inventory. Data were analyzed using the Statistical Package for the Social Sciences. Results examine the relationship between the Master Gardener program and the psychological well-being of the female inmates at the Federal Prison Camp in Bryan, Texas.

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Melanie M. Migura, L.A. Whittlesey and J.M. Zajicek

The main objective of this study was to determine the effects of a vocational horticulture program on the self-development of female inmates in a federal prison camp (FPC) in Bryan, Texas. Subjects were sampled from the inmate population of FPC-Bryan and assigned to two groups. Group A was comprised of 36 inmates participating in the Master Gardener program and Group B, the control group, was comprised of 26 inmates who were not participants in the Master Gardener program. A confidential 55-item survey was administered in a pretest-posttest fashion and contained questions from Rotter's (1966) Internal-External Control of Reinforcement Scale and the Multidimensional IE Scale (Gurin et al., 1969), Pugh's (1992) Prison Locus of Control Scale, the Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale (Rosenberg, 1965), and the Satisfaction With Life Scale (Diener et al., 1985). No significant differences were found between the pre- or post-tests of the Master Gardener and control groups. In addition, no significant differences were found for generalized internal-external locus of control and situation specific internal-external locus of control when pretest and posttest mean scores were compared within each group. However, Master Gardener and control participants significantly increased their self-esteem and global life satisfaction scores between the pre- and post-tests. Due to the high occurrence of research subjects reporting a history of drug or alcohol abuse, the pre- and posttest mean scores of drug or alcohol abusers and nonabusers participating in the Master Gardener program were compared. No significant differences as a result of participation in the Master Gardener program were found for nonabusers for all variables tested and for generalized internal-external locus of control and global self-esteem for drug or alcohol abusers. Substance abusers did significantly increase their situation specific internal-external locus of control and their global life satisfaction while participating in the Master Gardener program.