Detention garden program yields harvest, helps youths

BOISE -- The Ada County Board of Commissioners were treated to a special lunch Thursday at the juvenile detention facility.

The board was there to have lunch with and congratulate the center's honors kids for their work in the detention gardens.

This is the garden program's fourth year. Staff members work with the incarcerated youth to tend to and harvest the eight-bed garden.

The youths grow a wide variety of fruits and vegetables for the facility's kitchen. Craig Olsen, a juvenile detention officer, says the program helps the kids as well.

"It's a pro-social activity for the kids," he said. "A lot of kids just don't have experiences other than what they've been doing to get in trouble, so it gives them a new outlook on things."

Three or four youths work in the garden at a time, Olsen said, but the high turnover rate means there are always new kids coming in.


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