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The Daily Register - Harrisburg, IL
  • Inmate produce feeds kids at Harrisburg summer lunch program

  • The command to "eat your vegetables" is a little easier for kids to swallow when the produce is fresh and locally grown.
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  • The command to "eat your vegetables" is a little easier for kids to swallow when the produce is fresh and locally grown.
    Corrections Officers Penny Poole and Jason Henton, both of Dixon Springs Impact Incarceration Program are providing weekly some fresh vegetables for the summer lunch program at West Side School in Harrisburg.
    Inmates at the minimum security boot camp in Golconda are growing vegetables in a football field-sized garden and the officers are taking them to market at the Harrisburg and Vienna schools, the Golconda Golden Circle and at Golconda and Anna homeless shelters.
    "There are 275 inmates at Dixon Springs," said Henton.
    "It's the 17 females who do most of the gardening," said Poole.
    "Officer Poole and her inmates have really worked hard on this," said Superintendent Henton.
    The inmates are all non-violent, most incarcerated on drug related charges. The boot camp program is a 120-day program.
    "After completing the program the inmates are released to electronic monitoring, parole and supervised release. It is all pursuant to court orders," said Henton.
    Some are undoubtedly more knowledgable about gardening than before entering the program.
    "Our cucumbers are awesome," said Poole.
    The season ends with the first frost.
    Follow Kane at twitter.com/tkane_DR

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