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HERO PRISONERS SAVE CORRECTIONS OFFICER'S LIFE
The men were providing landscaping care for a cemetery in Georgia when the corrections officer collapsed in the heat. Rather than taking a chance to escape, the prisoners called 911 and performed CPR.
Their selfless actions saved the man's life. Polk County Sheriff Johnny Moats said that because of their service, the men would see their sentences reduced by 25 percent. They are serving time for minor crimes.
In addition, the corrections officer's family showed their gratitude by bringing pizza and cupcakes to the prison for the rescuers the next day. (BBC)
Speaking of pizza and cupcakes, have you ever wondered what prisoners eat?
A COOKBOOK FOR PRISONERS
Albert "Prodigy" Johnson of the hip-hop duo Mobb Deep, who passed away last week from complications caused by sickle cell anemia, published a cookbook last October. The book was inspired by his experience serving time for an illegally possessed firearm in 2007. "Commissary Kitchen: My Infamous Cookbook" is part prison-food survival guide, part memoir.
Prodigy explained in the book that the prison system made it almost impossible for him and other prisoners to keep a healthy and balanced diet. Meals are supplemented with items purchased from the commissary or brought in by family members.
And in prison culture, cooking for themselves provides the incarcerated with a chance to build community … and to maintain their dignity.
Cooking in prison is "relaxing," Prodigy wrote. “You forget where you're at for an hour or two. It helps people get along, too.”
"Commissary Kitchen" is more than just a recipe book—it's insight into life behind bars.
"This book won't make you a better cook," Prodigy said, "but it might make you a better person."
'GROWING GARDENS' REDUCES RECIDIVISM
In Oregon, the organization Growing Gardens offers incarcerated people a nine-month “garden-based education.”
The organization's program Lettuce Grow, offered in 16 of Oregon's correctional facilities, encourages participants to be active, positive, and healthy. Over 700 prisoners have graduated from Lettuce Grow, and the program has a five percent recidivism rate. The national average is 68 percent.
Last year, Lettuce Grow raised 250 thousand pounds of fresh produce for the correctional facilities. (BIZJOURNAL)
RESTAURANTS AND THE FORMERLY INCARCERATED
After their release, many returning citizens struggle to find reliable work. A lack of education, absent years of work experience, and a criminal record are held against former prisoners during their job search. But one industry continues to provide these men and women with steady work and the chance for career growth: the restaurant industry.
Kitchens for Good, a San Diego-based culinary school program offers the formerly incarcerated a chance to learn traditional French cooking and fine-dining service. The six-month, two-part program has had 177 graduates, 95 percent of whom have moved on to other jobs in food and hospitality.
Avila Paley, founder of Kitchens for Good, says the formerly incarcerated are "able to thrive in an environment where all it takes to succeed is a lot of hard work and dedication. It doesn't take three degrees and or years of training." (EATER)