Program allows inmates to participate in Earth Day activities - WKRN News 2

Program allows inmates to participate in Earth Day activities

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. -

It's Earth Day, when people strive to live a little greener, including area inmates.

Inmates in Davidson County's Culinary Arts Program spent the day Monday tending to the new fruit trees in Offender Reentry Center's garden.

The 10-year-old program recently added a horticulture component.

"If they [inmates] leave here with a certification in culinary arts and know something about horticulture, where the food comes from, they're a better candidate to employ," said Paul Mulloy, director of programs for the Davidson County Sheriff's Office.

Mulloy added offenders who successfully complete the program have a significantly lower recidivism rate.

Lagarius Johnson was sentenced to six months in jail for a DUI.

When he's released in late August he hopes to use what he has learned in the culinary arts program to find a job as a cook, and eventually move up the ladder.

"It's almost like being a magician," said Johnson. "You can put together these recipes and you can do awesome things with food. You can bring people together. It's just magical."

The fruits and vegetables that grow in the garden will be donated to Second Harvest Food Bank.

For more information on the Second Harvest Food Bank, visit their Web site.

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