Inmate Labor & Gardening
- Subject: [cg] Inmate Labor & Gardening
- From: Jim Call firstname.lastname@example.org
- Date: Fri, 31 Dec 2004 17:04:28 -0600
First of all, I wish ya'll a happy new year. With the horrific tragedy
in Asia, its tough to be celebrating when so many are suffering.
Huntsville currently uses 6 male inmate crews and 2 women inmate crews
to help keep our city beautiful. They operate under the auspices of
Operation Green Team (OGT), which reports directly to the Mayor. OGT's
main mission is litter control and to educate the public about
littering. The inmates volunteer to work about 6 hours a day (5 days a
week), in return for a reduced sentence (DUI offenders, spouse abuse,
bad check writers, etc.). The crews mainly pick up litter on heavily
travelled streets, but also perform weeding, mulching, pressure-washing
and many other beautification oriented tasks.
*Question:* Is anyone aware// of a city that uses inmate labor to
operate a gardening operation dedicated to helping the needy?
As I get more involved as a city employee, I'm thinking about asking the
Mayor to convert or add a crew to operate a garden for the purpose of
serving the needy (maybe Spring 2006). Right now, I'm doing my
homework. I think if this project has an education value added feature,
along with helping our community, it could work.
Since I oversee a CG, I have been asked to plant a few tomatoes next
year (2005) for the inmate crews since they eat only bologna sandwiches
for lunch every day. Can't wait to look into their eyes when they bite
into some juicy home grown tomatoes.
Thanks in advance for your input.
Jim Call, CASA Community Garden Volunteer Director
Project Supervisor, City of Huntsville
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