Garden Project Helps Lockhart Offenders Grow and Give Back

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“It was the brainchild of the warden, Warden Frawner. He allowed us to have a garden; previous years we never had a garden.”

Soon after MTC took over operation of the Lockhart facility in Texas, offenders began working on a garden. It wasn’t easy.

“The ground was hard as a rock.”

Officer Dennis Jones says the garden is a great way to help offenders focus on others and improve their lives.

Tiffany Clark says the garden project has given her time to reflect upon her life.

“It’s a moment of serenity. It’s just time to ourselves. You know what I’m saying? Time to not have to deal with other people or our issues at home, you know? It gives us a moment to really get in touch with ourselves, I think.”

“It shows them another way of living,” says Officer Jones. “Another way of living their life in a more productive way. Nurturing and growing a garden is a time consuming and tedious thing. And it gives them a sense of patience. They have to work together to get all this in. And it was not just a quick fix. They had to learn that sometimes good things take a while to produce.”

The offenders are already seeing the fruits of the labor.

“We’ve been getting a lot of produce. Not only is the community of Lockhart getting some of it, but so have some of the staff, and we’ve used some of it for our culinary class. And it’s been a wonderful project.”

Offenders helped deliver the produce to the Caldwell County Christian Ministries, home of the Lockhart, Texas food bank.

Tiffany was excited as she and the other ladies carried bags full of food into the food bank.

“Right now we’re going into the food bank. All of the vegetables that come out of the garden, we donate to the food bank. This is our first trip to the food bank, and we’re excited about it, excited—ecstatic!”