The Travis County Correctional Complex enjoys the benefits of a large, healthy vegetable garden. Inmate workers typically do the planting, weeding and harvesting as part of a job readiness program that teaches them job skills and earns them manual labor credits toward early release. Eligibility for the program requires a low-security risk classification and good standing behaviorally.
In an effort to lower the risk of COVID-19 outbreak in the jail, judges, prosecutors and law enforcement have made a concerted effort to reduce the number of low-level offenders in the Travis County Jail. The lower inmate population has resulted in fewer inmate workers.
Ample rain in March and April brought with it a bumper crop of veggies in the garden. It’s time for harvest, and TCSO is short on inmate labor. Sheriff’s Office employees recently stepped up to volunteer for 2-hour shifts, bringing in the harvest so far, of 303 pounds of carrots, 82 pounds of garden tomatoes, 41 pounds of cherry tomatoes, 33 pounds of Swiss chard and 22 pounds of jalapenos.
Produce from TCSO’s garden is used to feed inmates and is also donated to the Central Texas Food Bank.
Photos submitted by Travis County Sheriff’s Office