Kingston Prison has been awarded the 2004 Windlesham trophy for prison gardens. The Portsmouth prison beat Belmarsh, Deerbolt and Bisley to win the prize.
Judges from the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) visited the gardens in July and August.
RHS judge John Humphris said: “The standard of the prison gardens is consistently high. It was a close run race, but Kingston just had the edge because of its sophisticated colour schemes and overall finish.”
He added: “Gardening can offer real physical, emotional and therapeutic benefits and excellent career opportunities, so it is wonderful to see the enthusiasm the prisoners have for gardening.”
Prison Service director general Phil Wheatley added: “The Windlesham Trophy gives prisoners new skills. Initiatives like this reduce the risk of re-offending.”
The competition began in 1984 after Lord Windlesham, then chairman of the Parole Board, saw the positive effect tending gardens had on prisoners. Studies in the US have shown that horticulture programmes can encourage offenders to study and pursue new careers.
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