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Prison Animal Programs: Transforming Lives through Love

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Some correctional facilities offer animal-assisted therapy as a form of treatment to selected inmates who demonstrate good behavior. Today, we find out about the benefits of these programs, how they work, and why they have been proven effective. In Australia, the Queensland Corrective Services runs the minimum-security Palen Creek Correctional Centre. The Centre works with a program that finds homes for greyhounds. Liam the greyhound was fostered by an inmate so he would become accustomed to life as an animal companion. Let’s now hear from Liam’s foster father at the Centre regarding his experiences as a program participant. “He’s also never judgmental; he’s happy no matter what your mood is and what you’re doing. So he’s happy to cruise around and smile and be with you. I think also having an animal involved in this program helps with the communication between officers and inmates.” Animals love us for who we are. Some animals even can touch individuals who do not show emotion, including the inmates sometimes referred to as the “tough guys” in incarceration facilities. Dogs and cats can help to teach prisoners about care and gentleness. Correctional facility-based animal programs save the lives of animals and aid inmates in growing in humanity and expanding their personal development.
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