Printer-friendly versionPrinter-friendly version Share this

Source: San Diego Sheriff

July 14, 2022 (San Diego) -- A Fresh Start Farm Stand was held today at San Diego County Sheriff's Department Headquarters in Kearny Mesa. It is part of a landscaping and gardening program at the Las Colinas Detention and Reentry Facility in Santee and the East Mesa Reentry Facility in Otay Mesa. People in custody learn about growing their own food, eating healthy, working in teams and responsibility.

Produce, herbs, flowers and plants grown at jail greenhouses were showcased during the farm stand. Today's market setting provides participants the opportunity to learn about event planning, managing a vendor stand, presentation, inventory and customer service. Learn more about this job training program by watching this video

The Community Involved Vocational Incarcerated Crew Services (CIVICS) Program started in 2014 to help those in custody develop skills and work habits needed to secure employment and healthy family relationships after their release.

Grossmont Adult School provides hands-on instruction in horticulture, landscape maintenance, greenhouse operations, organic land care, hardscaping, nursery management, carpentry, wood working, irrigation and other green industry skill sets, as well as job readiness programs. 



CIVICS is also a partnership with County Parks and Recreation. Participants perform tasks such as landscaping, cleaning county parks, trails, canals or ditches, clearing vegetation and trimming hazardous trees. Seeds gathered during landscaping are cultivated in the greenhouses and replanted back into county parks.

Vegetables grown in the gardens are used in the Sheriff's Reentry Services job training program, Culinary Arts Training Program. 

Landscape maintenance includes creating defensible space around 51 radio towers across San Diego and Imperial Counties. This network is critical when you make that call for help and for first responders to communicate with each other.

Participants in the landscaping and gardening program graduate with certifications and college credits on landscape maintenance, irrigation, landscape construction and horticulture from the Carpenters Union, Southwestern College and Grossmont Adult Education. 

To learn more about Sheriff's Re-entry Services Division and the work they do to prepare people in custody for a successful return to our communities, visit


Error message

Support community news in the public interest! As nonprofit news, we rely on donations from the public to fund our reporting -- not special interests. Please donate to sustain East County Magazine's local reporting and/or wildfire alerts at to help us keep people safe and informed across our region.