WAYNESBORO, Ga. (WJBF)- While the end goal for this project is to provide fresh produce, the gardeners have learned more about working together and gaining other life skills.

Burke County Detention Center Counselor Patrick Finney began this program with the idea of showing the inmates how they can be a part of something bigger. 

“We wanted to get the inmates outside, to get some fresh air and I thought about the Green Project that would help inmates develop accomplishment skills, a sense of purpose. Growing things in a garden takes patience. So, a positive outcome was what I was looking for,” BCDC Detention Counselor Patrick Finney said.

The garden includes a wide range of produce like squash, watermelon, zucchini, dates, and more. 

Finney says he’s had the chance of seeing inmates develop skills like “teamwork” while witnessing them grow closer to one another.

“They [were] in a more hostile unit– they have since been moved to a unit that allows them a more bond relationship with one another.”

Inmates say they’ve learned a thing or two since being a part of the Project Green program. 

“It helped me to mature a little better in my mind and get a better relationship with my higher power,” BCDC inmate Bobby Peterson Sr. said.

Finney says he hopes once the inmates are released, they’re able to continue carrying out the skills they learned with Project Green.