A massive expansion of the garden on the grounds of the Cook County Jail has allowed for more than 100 non-violent detainees to earn gardening and landscaping job skills while they are incarcerated. On Friday, September 9th, dozens of those detainees were recognized with certificates of completion.
This is the 18th year for the garden program, which last year added a 1,500 square foot greenhouse and this year more than doubled in size, from 14,000 to 30,000 square feet. That expansion has allowed the program to go year-round and allowed the number of non-violent participants to increase from 30 to 100.
This marks the first year that all produce grown started as a seed in the greenhouse.
Representatives from Charlie Trotter’s and The Publican, which purchase food from the garden, are expected to attend the ceremony, along with sheriff’s office staff.