Each year when owner Billy Reid plants vegetables at Reid’s Orchard, he has left over plants that he donates to the Daviess County Detention Center. It began through his friendship with former Jailer David Osborne and has continued with current Jailer Art Maglinger.
“I noticed they were starting a garden at the jail and asked if they wanted any cabbage, peppers and tomato plants,” Reid said. “I just like to help the community when I can.”
This year, Reid donated several tomato and cabbage plants for the jail garden, which are now in the ground, according to Maglinger.
Sgt. Zack Ezell oversees the jail gardens, which include a variety of fruits and vegetables. Also at the jail are chickens and ducks whose eggs are gathered. All of the produce grown and the eggs harvested are used in the jail kitchen.
“We also grow a large amount of pumpkins for community projects including donating pumpkins to our local elementary schools during the fall season,” Maglinger said.
State inmates, who are a community custody level with the Department of Corrections, receive authorization to work outside the jail. Some of those inmates, Maglinger said, tend to the gardens.
For Maglinger, the garden is a win-win. The inmates work the gardens to learn a new skill and the produce is used to offset the cost of providing daily meals.
“I personally like the gardens because the inmates are learning responsibility, benefiting from healthy produce, and also giving back to our community in a way by providing pumpkins for the children,” Maglinger said. “There are many security measures that have to be considered with inmates working in the gardens, but the program has been very beneficial to the Daviess County Detention Center.”