Offenders Farm In Place Of Jail Time

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A new program in Lawrence County puts low-level offenders on a farm, rather than in jail.

All of the workers were sentenced to the program by a judge in the Lawrence County Common Pleas Court System to generate food for those in the county who need it most.
The Life Intervention and Diversion program is a way to avoid jail time.
Lawrence-Scioto Solid Waste Management representative Dan Palmer says the program offers the workers diversion every Wednesday, workforce development, GED, and drug counseling with the ultimate goal of getting them a job. 
The workers are planting 49 acres of vegetables.
Executive Chef for the Lawrence County Community Action Organization Anthony Keith Taylor says the whole county will benefit from the food: jails, kids who need healthier options, and seniors. 
He says some vegetables can be blanched and frozen to last the whole year.
Taylor estimates this program will save the county at least $20,000 in food costs. 
Many of these program participants are sentenced to 200 hours of community service at the farm, which amounts to several weeks of work.
The program is supported by numerous county agencies including the commission, sheriff and probation departments, judges and prosecutors.