The Support Division is made up of the following Units:
- Food Services
- Road Gang
- Vocational Programs
The Support Division offers programs and classes for inmates and
is funded at virtually no cost to Manatee County. The Inmate Work Farm operation
began in 1993, with the aim of lowering food costs for the jail, while teaching
inmates a trade and good work ethics. From a modest beginning of one chicken house
with 2,000 laying hens and a row crop vegetable garden, the Inmate Work Farm
has grown to 3 chicken houses and 6,000 laying hens for egg production, hydroponics
greenhouses, a pig farming operation and meat/fish processing, tank-grown tilapia, and
fresh lettuce and vegetables, all to offset skyrocketing food costs for inmates.
The Food Services Section is comprised of Production, Bakery / Diet,
Prep, Food Transportation, Staff Dining, Loading Dock Security, and Warehouse.
This section is responsible for the preparation and delivery of all inmate meals,
providing meals to satellite facilities, and preparing meals for the staff and
The Commissary Unit provides support for delivery of
items ordered by inmates from kiosks in the dorms, resets PIN numbers and controls
the financial transactions
The Road Gang provides labor for road and ditch projects obtained
from Manatee County Public Works, and is responsible for the outside grounds at the
Central Jail and other assigned facilities.
The Inmate Farm Unit administers the planting, growing, and harvesting
of fresh vegetables and the preparation, preservation, and distribution of those
and other vegetables and items as required. This unit is also responsible for all
animal husbandry projects and functions.
Vocational Programs offers inmates MTC-sponsored classes in Welding, and Horticulture.
The tuition for MTC is shared between MTC and Manatee County Sheriff's Office 50/50, and is paid from the Inmate Commissary Fund;
and credits earned can be continued upon the inmate's release from jail.
Other cost-cutters include Carpentry, Machine Repair, Landscaping and Paint Shop
the Horticulture Program
produces fresh vegetables; the Aquaculture Program's tilapia fish
are raised for inmate consumption; the Sewing Production Unit makes
all inmate uniforms, underwear, sheets, pillowcases and other items (watch for new
screen-printed shirts and embroidering); the Mattress Plant
made over 950 new mattresses the first year; the Hydroponics Program
turns out 11,000 heads of lettuce in 60-day cycles; the Grist Mill
grinds whole dent corn for half the cost of purchased corn meal and grits; Meat
and Fish Processing turns out inmate entrees and reduces food costs; and the
Road Gang Unit uses inmate labor to save the county hundreds of thousands
of dollars per year in labor costs for projects county-wide.
We have a "Graze Green" forage production, feed lot operation and Brangus herd development,
making us the only agency in the world involved in this type of forage/cow/calf