Inmate Farmers Learn New Skills in Castaic Jail Program

Inmate Farmers Learn New Skills in Castaic Jail Program

In recognition of December as National Root Vegetables Month, we call attention to the Pitchess Detention Center Nursery, operated by the Jail Enterprises Unit in Castaic. The nursery is a self-service operation where inmates learn basic, advanced and alternatives methods of horticulture, including composting and the use of live fish in aquaculture. Vegetables, herbs, fruit trees, roses, flowers, succulents, and hothouse plants, along with various annual, perennial and native plants, are some of the offerings at the facility. Maintenance, propagation, plant health, and pest, pathogen and disease treatments are learned and practiced under the guidance of a vocational instructor from the Five Keys Charter School program, as part of the Education Based Incarceration program.

Education Based Incarceration is a fully-functional educational network within the Los Angeles County jail system. It is comprised of sworn and non-sworn Sheriff’s Department personnel who work hand in hand with charter high schools, volunteer organizations and religious volunteers. This innovative program offers inmates educational opportunities, vocational and hands-on job training, and many other life-changing services.

Through Five Keys Charter School, the Education Based Incarceration Unit provides programs which may assist all interested incarcerated men and women to reach their full potential through education, empowerment, self-esteem, creativity, and self-respect; it strives to make them better parents, spouses and productive citizens in their communities. Inmate students have an opportunity to learn the verdant trade, and carry their knowledge and experience with them to compete in the job world with confidence when they are released from custody.

For more information about Education Based Incarceration, visit their website at or Facebook account at @EBILASD.