TOLEDO, Ohio — An Ohio prison has established a gardening program in an effort to keep inmates from returning to prison after they’re released.

The Blade reports (http://bit.ly/2sLldAi ) inmates at the Toledo Correctional Institution are growing plants such as zucchini, watermelon and cabbage while learning skills to help them after prison.

Corrections officer Kenneth Koontz launched the program. He says donations of seeds and a vertical gardening system allows the garden to operate without a budget.

Koontz says three inmates work in the garden each day. The work is a privilege earned through positive behavior and completing transition programs.

Produce will be donated to food banks.

Ron Matney, an inmate serving time for drug trafficking, says he took from his family and employer and now can give back to others.


Information from: The Blade, http://www.toledoblade.com/