CCDC program teaches healthy nutrition in rehabilitation of inmates

By Vanessa Murphy |

Published 02/12 2016 10:55PM

Updated 02/12 2016 11:34PM

Question: Have you ever heard of Elderberry or Spirulina?  They're not the typical ingredients you'd find in your kitchen, but inmates in at the Clark County Detention Center are learning more about the nutritional foods.

Volunteers are donating their time and food so that prisoners can try healthy ingredients.  It's all part of a non-traditional approach to try to change lives. 

Call it juicing in jail.

Shaun LeFlore is considered a leader in the group of 148 men who are a part of a special program at the Clark County Detention Center.  More than three years ago, the 34-year-old man was charged with murder.

He's accused of killing a woman he was in a relationship with.  In a court document, he was referred to as a pimp.

"I saw life from a different perspective," LeFlore said.

Because of LeFlore's good behavior, he's able to take classes on nutrition inside the jail with Shane Stuart, the co-owner of Grass Roots in downtown Las Vegas.

"They're striving for anyone to reach out to them to have any kind of connection," Stuart said.

Stuart is one of several volunteers who was brought into the jail system by Lieutenant Sasha Larkin, who co-organized this program -

"If I affect two of these people that go out there and have less violent tendencies, I win," Lt. Larkin said.

Larkin says disciplinary action dropped 70 percent amongst the inmates who took part in the program.  Larkin hopes the good behavior will continue throughout their lives.

"I'm making the best use of their time while they're in here to influence the decisions they make so when they get on the outside again, Larkin said.  "They'll interact with your families and your children differently."

"One day I'm going to get out, and I'm going to need to be productive," LeFlore said.  "Like everybody else in here, we're going to need to be productive, so this is helping us learn how to produce, how to be effective, and how to get good results."

The program for the inmates is about more than nutrition.

"It's social well-being," Stuart said.  "It's spiritual well-being.  Food is just a small aspect of that."

LeFlore says he's grateful for this opportunity.  He says he hopes one day it will mean a fresh start.

"America is about second chances," said LeFlore.  "It's about love.  It's about God.  It's about doing what's right.  America, we don't turn our back on anyone, especially our own."

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