South Carolina Women’s prison brings VF to inmates

South Carolina Women’s prison brings VF to inmates
Photo: AmplifiedAg

The South Carolina Department of Corrections (SCDC), joined by the South Carolina Department of Agriculture and South Carolina-based AmplifiedAg, Inc., has received legislative approval to build a vertical farming facility and training program at Camille Griffin Graham Correctional Institution, a women’s prison located in Columbia, SC.

This initiative marks the first vertical farm in the U.S. to be located onsite a correctional institution. This modern agricultural operation will provide incarcerated individuals with real-world experience and career training in the fields of vertical farming and agricultural technology. In addition, the farm will supply fresh, healthy, pesticide-free lettuce – estimated to produce 48,000 pounds of lettuce per year – to the institution’s cafeteria and food program.

“This partnership is good in so many ways,” says SCDC Director Bryan Stirling. “Inmates learn job skills while providing food for the institution. We see this as a win-win. We appreciate the legislature’s continued support in fostering innovative programs to improve our prison system and keep the public safe by helping reduce recidivism.”

The $1.2 million project received approval for $350,000 in state funds from the State Fiscal Accountability Authority. The remainder is expected to come from private donations.

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