02/14/2012 04:58 pm ET

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

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.