Through the Eyes of a Student
Hancock State Prison Horticulture Program
FORSYTH, Ga. – In July 2016, Hancock State Prison, in Sparta, Ga., started offering a Horticulture program to the offender population. There are five offenders who currently participate in this program. Participants receive On-the-Job (OJT) Training for growing both soft-stemmed houseplants and vegetable based plants on the season.
“We are constantly striving to provide new and improved opportunities for our offenders to become trained in fields that are not only lucrative but are also of interest to the participants,” said Commissioner Gregory C. Dozier. “We have a Horticulture program, among many other OJT and trade programs, because we want our returning citizens to succeed in a field they enjoy upon their release,” added Dozier.
A participant shared his positive experience to show his gratitude towards the Horticulture program at Hancock. The offender always had an interest in plants and is now receiving hands-on experience and certification in this field. With only two years left on his sentence, he hopes to use the knowledge and experience he gained to start his own business when he returns to society.
I enjoy working with plants. This detail gives me a sense of responsibility and pride. I've always had interest in plants, but now I have a better understanding of how the plant world works. Now I understand that a simple little seed can produce a beautiful large plant, as long as it's given the proper nourishment. I only have two years left before I am released. Hopefully after learning this trade, I will be able to go into business for myself.
- Participant requested to remain anonymous
The GDC has one of the largest prison systems in the U.S. and is responsible for supervising nearly 52,000 state prisoners. It is the largest law enforcement agency in the state with approximately 10,500 employees.
For more information on the GDC call 478-992-5247 or visit http://www.gdc.ga.gov.