HAGERSTOWN, Md. (WDVM) —  The pandemic has been challenging and many people have been doing their best to help, including people who are incarcerated at the Maryland Correctional Training Center.

 All summer, some of these people have been working in the facility’s communal garden to grow crops for the Salvation Army and other organizations to help feed people during the pandemic.

They look at this opportunity as way of giving back to society. They say although they have done wrong, their mistakes do not define them as a person, and they use the garden as a tool to better themselves as individuals.

The gardening program allows incarcerated people to build essential working skills, and gives them the opportunity to decompress in a positive way, officials said.

“The inmates that are here. Yes, they are incarcerated because they did break the law, but they’re trying to give  back to the community, and they’re trying to do the right thing,” said Shannon Hewett, Case management specialist.

Staff members of the facility say they are proud see the gardening program blossom. They say they hope the inmates will continue to build essential skills so they can be productive members in society.

The people have so far harvested 12,000 pounds of food, and they said next summer they hope to harvest even more.