The Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office, Jail Division, implemented a program that not only serves taxpayers but also makes life a little better for inmates.
About ten non-violent and good behavior inmates, known as “trustees,” take part in tending a garden that grows fresh vegetables of all types just outside the jail walls. Inmates are supervised by corrections officers while tending the garden. The vegetables are implemented into meals served within the jail.
Lincoln County Sheriff, John Cottle, says the program keeps inmates occupied and requires them to incorporate patience, diligence and hard work. “It seems to me any program that we can devise to help inmates from dysfunctional lives to productive ones has merit,” said Sheriff Cottle. “For inmates, gardening requires discipline and their success has a positive impact on their life.”
This program is expected to save the Sheriff’s Department around $1,000 dollars in food savings this summer alone, which benefits taxpayers as opposed to costing them money. Future plans include canning the left over vegetables for the winter when vegetables prices rise.
The program is so successful some inmates have requested to return after being released to help maintain the garden.
Inmate gardens are not a new concept; however, it is trending across America. For the Lincoln County green-thumb inmates, the day-to-day challenge of maintaining a garden is not only rewarding but also beneficial.