Local News

Alamance County farm's rural justice program named among country's most innovative

Posted February 24, 2022 11:17 a.m. EST

Benevolence Farm (Courtesy of Benevolence Farm)

— An Alamance County farm is being hailed as one of the country's most innovative rural justice programs.

Benevolence Farm in Graham was selected as one of nine U.S. Innovation Sites by the Rural Justice Collaborative Advisory Council. 

The farm, which is about an hour northwest of Raleigh, is a nonprofit that helps female prisoners transition to life following their release from jail. The program helps them learn life skills, including farming and food preparation. Residents live and work on the 13-acre farm.

The farm's selection as one of the country's most innovative rural justice programs, means that it will help serve as a model for other communities.

“Rural community leaders often don’t have the resources to develop programs from scratch but we know that many rural justice leaders, like those from Benevolence Farm, have found innovative solutions to their complex problems. Before this, there has been no nationally concerted effort for justice leaders and their collaborators in other sectors to share what they know. The Innovation Sites provide a framework that others can build from,” said Tara Kunkel, Executive Director of Rulo Strategies, which organized the RJC in partnership with the National Center for State Courts (NCSC).

The Rural Justice Collaborative will be working with Benevolence Farm to create educational materials to help other communities replicate their success.

“The RJC will provide a vast knowledge pool filled with actionable content which individual communities may not have the resources to compile on their own,” said Kristina Bryant of NCSC who helps coordinate the RJC.

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