Published Mon, Jan 9, 2012 5:33 am Dateline
Lawrence County's two common pleas judges are considering establishing a community service program for felony offenders that could put them on a farm growing vegetables.
If established, the program would target felons who aren't eligible for prison because of a change last year in Ohio state law.
Judge D. Scott Bowling says that the law limits judges' ability to send people to prison for minor fourth- and fifth-degree felonies.
He says that a farm-based community service program would allow first-time Ohio offenders to grow vegetables that the jail and local senior centers can use. The program would help offenders learn job skills in a way that would provide for the community.
Judge Charles Cooper says that officials with the Ironton-Lawrence County Community Action Organization are seeking grants to start the program.