IN2WORK, a food service skills program offered by the Tulsa County Sheriff's Office in partnership with Aramark, has produced its first four graduates.
Four men out of a group of 10 inmates completed the program. They learned kitchen and retail basics and the National Restaurant Association serving protocols known as ServSafe.
Graduates had to pass all their exams with a score of 75 percent or better.
TCSO will expand the program because of its popularity among the inmates. Genders can't be mixed, so groups of men and women will alternate in the program.
Chief Deputy Michelle Robinette said the participants' enthusiasm is key to the program's success.
"These four, absolutely heart and soul put into it. They wanted to be here, they wanted to learn how to do it, they wanted to be a part of it," she said. "Will we always have that? Probably not.
"But if I can get one out of every class, then what we're doing works."
Robinette told the families, Aramark representatives and law enforcement officials in attendance that the men were fully responsible for the graduation ceremony's meal service, including planning the menu.
Guests were served a green salad and bread service; a main course of herbed potatoes, bacon-wrapped filet with red wine reduction and grilled asparagus; and a blueberry and raspberry Napoleon with cream for dessert.