Grundy County inmates learn gardening and other skills

GRUNDY COUNTY, Tenn. (WDEF) — The Grundy County Sheriff’s Office has received grants and been recognized for the programs they have for inmates.

​It is that time of year where gardens are growing. While she is weeding now, Kendra Flanigan enjoys seeing the end product.

“The best part about it was when we came out and got to pull the vegetables, so it was good to see what we were able to do,” Flanigan said.

What makes the garden unique is it’s taken care of by inmates at the Grundy County Jail.

“I had never ever planted a garden, so I had no idea what I was doing, but this is something that I can take home with me. And I mean the jail saved a lot of money from using the vegetables and so that is something that I can take home and save money there,” Flanigan said.

This is just one of several different re-entry programs the jail offers, others deal with Education, job training, and anger management.

They’ve received grants to continue it.

“So we are running the way we need to with the current grant. But it looks like we are going to be able to expand by the end of May doing more for inmates who are released. And so that is what we are looking to do to strengthen the program,” Sheriff Clint Shrum said.

Pre-release case managers say they are able to give the inmates new tools.

“A lot of times when they come in there is a lack of structure, there is a lack of that guidance. One thing that I always try to do is give them some positive support and that is something that so many times they don’t have and they don’t get,” said Alicia Shadwick, a pre-release case manager.

Inmates say they are already seeing the benefits.

“It gives me the tools and resources that I can use not only while I am in here, but once I get out to re-enter myself to the public from being locked up. It gives me great sources as far as the anger management side of it,” Bradley Pugh said.

As for Flanigan, she is glad she learned about gardening.

“I am thankful to be able to get out here every day and do the garden. It is just something that we can see the benefits of it once it starts growing,” Flanigan said.

Sheriff Shrum says the garden is the biggest yet. He says it saves them thousands of dollars a year.

Categories: Featured, Grundy County, Local News