CHICAGO

Prison Inmates, Tilapia Farmers? Sheriff Dart Announces New Program At Cook County Jail

02/14/2012 04:58 pm 16:58:08

Local restaurants may soon be serving up tilapia raised by Cook County Jail inmates.

The jail will add fish-farming to its current crop of agricultural work opportunities on-site, which include three vegetable gardens whose yields are sold to restaurants like the soon-to-close Charlie Trotter's, and other high-end eateries, the Chicago Sun-Times reports.

Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart said told an audience at St. Xavier University that the tilapia farm should be up and running in a few weeks.

The tilapia project follows several new work agreements involving Cook County Jail inmates, including the recent placement of 16 nonviolent offenders at a Southwest Side animal shelter to help clean cages, according to the sheriff's website.

Dart's spokesman, Frank Bilecki, said the fish tanks will arrive at the sheriff's boot camp in a few weeks, Fox Chicago reports.

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