Insight Garden Program

Timeline of Accomplishments


  • Started at San Quentin State Prison under the Insight Prison Project, Fall 2002 (in classroom)
  • Beth Waitkus begins graduate research project


  • Built the first organic flower garden on an open prison yard at San Quentin


  • Agape Foundation becomes fiscal sponsor, and officially the garden program becomes the “Insight Garden Program”
  • Beth completes graduate thesis research


  • For three years in a row, the IGP co-hosts with the IPP Northern California’s “Young President’s Organization” bringing more than 50 local CEOs and their wives to visit the programs.


  • First proposal submitted for vegetable garden (taking 5 years for approval)
  • Peace Development Fund becomes fiscal sponsor


  • In collaboration with the California Reentry Program, the IGP co-hosts the first ever Green Career Fair in a California State prison


  • Beth featured in book: EcoAmazons – 20 Women who are transforming the World
  • Reentry program with Planting Justice and Rubicon Programs is launched


  • Vegetable garden approved by Warden Chappell
  • IGP co-hosts another Green Career fair with California Reentry Program


  • Conversations begin with Solano State prison for first replication project
  • Beth wins Hotchkiss School Community Service Award
  • The IGP and Planting Justice build the vegetable garden at San Quentin
  • The IGP is featured on ABC News with Diane Sawyer
  • Long-term replication planning begins
  • Beth Speaks at the American Correctional Association Conference in Tampa, FL.
  • After an eight month approval process, Lisa Benham begins approvals for graduate research project


  • 501c3 non-profit status is obtained
  • CA State Senator Loni Hancock an Assembly member Reggie Jones Sawyer (along with CDCR officials from Sacramento) visit the IGP at San Quentin
  • Programming starts at Solano State Prison in Vacaville, CA
  • Curriculum design consultants are hired to begin formalizing 10 years worth of curriculum
  • Visit Donovan Prison in San Diego as first possible Southern CA replication project
  • Lisa Benham completes second research study