BURKE COUNTY, Ga. (WJBF) – Burke County Detention Center inmates are developing their “green thumbs.”

Burke County Sheriff Alonzo Williams has officially announced a new project known as “Project Green.”

According to the press release, the project consist of inmates working together to produce a variety of garden items that can be used to feed inmates or donated to local food banks to help feed members of the community.

According to Burke County Sheriff’s Office Captain Jimmy Wilds, Project Green began after Detention Center Counselor Patrick Finney saw the Project at work in Chatham County and recognized the potential for success in Burke County.

Fruits and vegetables that are planted in the garden include cantaloupe, watermelon, honeydew, okra, collard greens, squash, cucumbers, eggplant and tomatoes.

Finney says that working the garden provides inmates with a sense of accomplishment, lessens aggressive behavior, and builds teamwork among inmates.

“I am grateful that our inmates are provided with a program that teaches them valuable life lessons and career-building skills,” Sheriff Williams says. “Through the use of everyday tools of communication, teamwork, skillset, problem-solving, and just cause our inmates are aided in their abilities to enhance their skills to ready themselves for gainful employment and a productive lifestyle.”

Organizers say that this program is designed to get inmates to recognize that participating in a cause greater than themselves helps to foster a sense of motivation and contribution, which helps define purpose in life, and they hope that once the inmates are able to see and taste the fruits of their labor, they will be quickened to avoid negative behavior and recidivism.