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Rick Scott, Governor
Florida Department of Corrections, Secretary Michael D. Crews

Florida Department of Corrections
Timothy H. Cannon, Interim Secretary


Media Advisory
August 15, 2011
For More Information
Contact: Gretl Plessinger
Communications Director
(850) 488-0420

RMC Inmates Learn Beekeeping
Media Open House

Inmates gathered around a beehive. An inmate inpsects the bees.
Inmates learn the art of Beekeeping.

Lake Butler - Inmates at Reception and Medical Center are learning about beekeeping thanks to a new inmate re-entry program in conjunction with the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.  As part of the program, inmates are learning how to maintain a colony of honey bees and collect honey.  After an inmate completes the program and is released from prison, he has an immediate job prospect with commercial beekeeper Dave Mendes.  

The media is invited to an open house to visit the program and speak to the inmates involved.

When:  Tuesday, August 16, 2011 at 1 p.m.

Where:  Reception and Medical Center

Directions: From North: From I-10 take Exit 303 (US-441 South). Turn left on Hwy-10A to Hwy-100. Turn left and go east 21 miles to Lake Butler, turn right on Hwy-231 South for approximately 2 miles. From South and West: From I-75 take Exit 427 (US-90 East) through Lake City to Hwy-100. Turn east and go 21 miles to Lake Butler, turn right on 231 south for approximately 2 miles.

Who: Inmates involved in the Beekeeping program, RMC Warden Brian Riedl, FDACS Division of Plant Industry Director Richard Gaskalla and Apiary Chief Jerry Hayes, commercial beekeeper Dave Mendes.

What: Developed in partnership with the Florida Department of Agriculture, this is the first and only beekeeping program in the Florida Prison system.  Inmates have the opportunity to learn a marketable skill and have a guaranteed job interview upon release from prison. 

Why: Currently one of every three inmates released from the Florida prison system returns to prison within three years. Through programs like this one, the Department of Corrections is focusing on teaching inmates viable job skills that will lead them to productive jobs and law-abiding lives upon release. 

Video and audio opportunities will be available for reporters.

For additional information contact the Department of Corrections, Office of Public Affairs (850) 488-0420 or Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services at 888-397-1517.