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Ohio prisoners using gardening ‘as a rehabilitation aid’

A prison garden in Ohio is into its third year of providing valuable rehabilitation opportunities to inmates, in news which could interest greenhouse enthusiasts.

Prisoners at Sandusky County Jail are able to make use of its 11,706-square-foot vegetable garden – which was set up in 2009 – plus the recently added pumpkin and watermelon patches.

There is also a chicken coop where inmates raise the birds until they are large enough to be butchered.

"Working in the garden for these inmates is really a life lesson for them," Sheriff Kyle Overmyer said. "I think every year it continues to progressively improve."

The men are also saving the Sheriff's office money, as the poultry is used in the kitchens, while a soon-to-be-added cooler will allow everything grown in the garden to be used to feed the prisoners.

"They really learn a skill out of this," program coordinator Jim Seaman said. "It gives them a sense of something that they have accomplished. Now they are starting to get a chance to taste their hard work."