Hill County, TX, jail uses garden as rehabilitation tool - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Jail garden could save lives in addition to saving money

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The jail in Hill County, TX, uses a garden to teach life skills to inmates, and the idea has also saved the county thousands in grocery costs. (Source: KTVT/CBS) The jail in Hill County, TX, uses a garden to teach life skills to inmates, and the idea has also saved the county thousands in grocery costs. (Source: KTVT/CBS)

HILL COUNTY, TX (KTVT/CBS) - The jail in Hill County has something most jails don't have, a garden that provides healthy meals for prisoners and has saved thousands of dollars in grocery costs.

The garden is having another unexpected payoff.

It is planting seeds of change in the people who tend to it, inmates who have committed non-violent crimes.

"A lot of change," said Hill County Sheriff's Office Chief Deputy Rodney Watson. "The guy we put in charge of the garden, he didn't have a lot of confidence. He didn't talk too much. Now he's a totally different person."

That head gardener is 42-year old Scott Pogue, who has been in and out of jail for more than 20 years on drug possession charges.

Pogue was given a gardening book and a chance to change, and he blossomed.

"I've been incarcerated a lot of years and never had the chance, the opportunity to learn a lot of things," Pogue said. "I never even imagined doing a garden. I know now I can be productive in anything I do, except for being locked up. I've been locked up most of my life."

With his new confidence, Pogue is headed for a drug treatment program that also offers living skills.

All the TLC the prisoners put into the garden has paid off for Hill County, too.

The first harvest from the garden has saved nearly $2,000 in food costs for the jail.

Copyright 2014 KTVT via CBS. All rights reserved.

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