(Salt Lake City, Utah) When you think about prisoners, you don't think about gardening to save the state money, but at The University of Utah they're learning about a program that could do just that. The new project will teach prisoners all about science. It will give them job training in recycling, organic gardening and many other skills. It's a trend toward going green in prisons and prisoners in Washington State have already been doing it for 8 years.
Carrie LeRoy, the co-director of the project says, "right now in Washington State prisons we're composting food waste. So all the food waste that is created in prisons is turned into composting food system and turned into soil and used on prison grounds."
Some of these prisons are now growing their own food and even donating some of that food to food banks in the community. And research shows this program also benefits the prisoners. LeRoy says "there's been a lot of research on how dealing with living things has therapeutic value and so getting inmates who might have anger management issues working in soil and growing things is therapeutic"..
The program really seems to be working for some prisoners. Many that have been through this program now have landscaping jobs. The program has been in Washington State for the past 8 years. University of Utah officials are working with prison officials in Utah, and they're hoping to bring it to Utah in the next several months.