Inmate garden cuts cost

Reported by: Wayne Hereford
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Updated: 7/05/2013 8:18 pm
ABERDEEN, Miss. (WTVA)-- Monroe County Sheriff Cecil Cantrell says his department is well on its way to having another banner crop year.

Inmates grow their own food in a garden behind the jail.

It's a job that the sheriff says they don't mind, because it gives them a chance to get out of their cells.

"Sure, it really cuts on the cost.  We've done a little figuring on our cost. We can pretty much feed a person on a $1.50 meal by growing it ourselves and not having to buy it," said Sheriff Cantrell.

Friday, the garden looked great as the inmates made sure that a variety of vegetables will be ready to pick and cook this season.

"We got peas, okra, tomatoes and so forth. Just about every type of vegetable that you can imagine," the sheriff said.

"We feed our prisoners in the wintertime this food. And, it's really good. It's good, it's well-grown and a lot more healthier for our inmates. And, also our inmates, this gives them something to do. And, a lot of people like to be out here than to be locked up," he added.

The inmates are on the county work program and provide labor for a variety of reasons throughout the county.

The sheriff says that the cooks inside the jail will consist primarily of inmates.
In fact, the seeds, fertilizer, and many of the farming materials are donated to the sheriff's department.

Once the garden is harvested, Cantrell said they'll start all over again by breaking the ground up and planting another crop for the fall.

Sheriff Cantrell says he hopes to have his first garden harvest in about three weeks.
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