Illinois jail launches new horticulture program for inmates

State News

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WHEATON, Ill. (AP) — Inmates at a suburban Chicago jail are getting a chance to study horticulture and earn college credits at the same time.

DuPage County Sheriff James Mendrick’s office says that since the program was launched a few days ago, eight non-violent inmates have enrolled in what’s called the Sustainable Urban Vegetable and Herb production course.

Inmates who complete the eight-week course will earn three credit hours.

The program is offered in the DuPage County Correctional Facility’s Hope’s Garden through College of DuPage. All the produce that is cultivated by the inmates will be donated to area food pantries.

Mendrick said in a news release that the program will allow the students to learn a “life skill” as well as give them college credits “that they can build upon when they are released.”

Brian Clement, who teaches horticulture at College of DuPage, said the program allows the school to reach more people in the community and provide needy people with food.

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