Scott County cultivates more than food in jail garden; giving inmates purpose, saving money

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DAVENPORT-- One look at the produce in this kitchen, you'd guess it was the work of a natural born green thumb.

The food comes from a garden in Davenport. The farmers are Scott County Jail inmates, supervised by a county officer.

The group of low risk inmates plant, maintain, and harvest the garden a few times a week.

They grow things like tomatoes, cucumbers, onions, peppers, potatoes and melons. In the past three years, this garden has yielded more than 10,000 pounds of produce.

Once it's picked, it goes right back to the jail kitchen and is used in daily recipes to feed inmates.

Jail kitchen supervisors say the food they garden saves them about 45 dollars a day. That's more than $16,000 saved per year depending on the jail population and dietary restrictions.

It's not your typical behind bars experience.

"You're locked up, you can't have the sunlight beating down on you. It makes the whole situation a little better and easier to cope with throughout the time away from your family," says inmate Kolby Wright.

The jail is growing fuel for the body and mind.

"I know this time is changing my morals into better morals than what I had before I got put in jail," says Wright.

It's the ingredients for a successful future.