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ButterflyGarden
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Inmate-Grown Vegetable Garden Trims $15k From Food Budget

Who says gardening doesn't pay? :)


MADISONVILLE, Ky. – A vegetable garden tended by inmates at the Hopkins County Jail helped trim the food budget at the facility by $15,000 this year.

The Madisonville-Hopkins County Chamber of Commerce on Wednesday cited the savings as one of several reasons the jail received special recognition at the annual Farm-City Breakfast.

Hopkins County Jailer Joe Blue tells The Messenger of Madisonville that he started the program in 2006 with little planning. He said 2011 was a very good year.

The jail started a master gardener training program this year, graduating 10 inmates. Blue says the program helps give different kinds of job skills to inmates, many who are from the cities of Louisville or Lexington and don't know anything about agriculture.

One local business donates fertilizer for the garden, and another provides seeds at reduced prices.

Read more: https://www.foxnews.com/us/2011/11/24/inmate-grown-vegetable-garden-trims-15g-from-food-budget/?test=latestnews#ixzz1eiN0KQFN
thestoryofababy.blogspot.com

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Tilde
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awesome. the kids have gardens at their schools, I think they send the food home as they aren't allowed to serve it in the cafetorium. :(
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DoubleDogFarm
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:arrow:
Last edited by DoubleDogFarm on Tue Nov 29, 2011 1:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Tilde
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Marlingardener, that is awesome. Good for you!

That's kind of how we were exposed to gardening - as fun (only a couple of us ended up in jail or juvie). We didn't have to work any harder than we wanted to, and we got to spend time with the adults or just picking and eating. :)

Even now with my kids I split up the work they want to do and break it into small chores - sometimes its counting fruits or veggies or pollinators, sometimes it's squishing bugs or watering plants or digging up weeds ...
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rainbowgardener
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What a wonderful example and how creative of you to find a way to make the gardening interesting and a reward instead of a punishment!
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tedln
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We once lived in an area with a large correctional facility located nearby. They had a small prison farm that produced a large variety of vegetables which were consumed in the prison and sold at a roadside stand on prison grounds. They produced the highest quality vegetables grown in the area. Local retail establishments complained to the state because the prison farm reduced the sale of vegetables in stores and contractors, who supplied the prison; were losing business because of the farm. They eventually had to close the farm due to local political pressure.

Ted
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Dixana
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And that is the problem with this country right now! Terrible and sad to make them stop. I think offering gardening programs and education programs like college classes and master gardener programs makes it more likely inmates will be better citizens upon release.
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tomc
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Speeking as a person who loves to garden, and might seek a gardening opportunity if I were institutionalised. I have to note historicaly the use of institutionalised and incarcerated adults and children as forced labor, has a long and unsavory history in the united states.

Be very careful what you wish for.
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tedln
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tomc,

Your right! Forced slave labor is bad. I had friends who were guards in the prison. They said the prisoners competed for the opportunity to work on the farm. They first had to gain trustee status and then apply to work on the farm. For the prisoners, it was a major break from the routine of prison life and they had the opportunity to be outside the barb wire. They also earned an hourly stipend for their labor. That was one of the complaints from local businesses. They couldn't compete with the low wages paid the prisoners.

I can't seem to rationalize a happy medium between the folks who believe prisoners shouldn't be utilized as labor and those who believe prisoners should be taught a trade to support themselves when released. You simply can't have it both ways.

You did get me to thinking about filing suit against my wife. She doesn't pay me anything for the hours and hours I slave in the garden and she enjoys the benefits at no cost.

Ted
Last edited by tedln on Fri Dec 16, 2011 4:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.
I simply enjoy gardening!

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Tilde
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Good points - I'm glad to see a program like this that can provide multiple benefits - something positive for the inmates to earn both monetarily and as a life skill - something positive for the community in reduced costs. But when the process strays from mostly beneficial to most involved to exploitation ... no. Not again.

But, like I said, good to see a positive outcome from a good plan.
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Trevor
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When I read the title I thought it was going to be about an inmate growing tomatoes from seeds of his salad. Alasse, great story!

tomc
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I helped support a man who resided years ago at a state school for people with developmental disabilities. In this instance I'll call him 'Bob'.

Bob's primary disability was he was hard of hearing, physically short, and was orphaned young in life. I knew hi as a very old man in the community.

Bob's routine at the state school was to work an eight hour shift starting at 11Pm on the black gang, shovel coal into the schools furnace, till 7AM, when he went upstairs and bathed and dressed his peers, and then went to work at the dietary hall (baking).

If he was lucky he got to sleep a few hours in the afternoon. I talked to several retired staff over the years to verify his daunting schedule. Yes 'Bob' really was worked like a pack-mule and put away wet.

For his daunting 80-90 hour week he was paid not a single cent for over twenty-five years of grueling labor.

Be very careful about what you wish for. The walk from volunteerism and slavery is shorter than you think. Bob liked his jobs. He never complained about them. In fact he was rather proud of them.

Once he was discharged, and knew he could be paid for his work (and I knew him) he was very careful to be paid for work he did.

I'll grant you were I in the same situation, I might take a gardening job for a token and the chance to get out of doors. Just know that this is a topic with long, profound, and systemic abuses.
Think like a tree
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