Minn. law to give more inmates green thumbs - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

Minn. law to give more inmates green thumbs

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ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) -- Minnesota prison officials are considering new garden plots in medium-security prisons next spring under a state law that takes effect next week.

The law could help inmates like Cory Schilling, a 35-year-old drunken driving offender, who works almost every day on the garden in the Red Wing prison.

The tomatoes, beets, greens and melons grown by a small crew of inmates help feed a minimum-security unit and families who get food from a local food shelf.

Schilling says the experience has given him an unexpected push toward focusing on others and grown into a passion he hopes to continue when he is released.

The bill was sponsored by Rep. Glenn Gruenhagen (GROON'-hahg-uhn), a Republican from Glencoe who says gardens are part of a "tough-love" approach to offenders.

AP-WF-07-27-12 2016GMT

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