Correctional Service Canada
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Women Offender Programs and Issues

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Pet Facilitated Therapy in Correctional Institutions

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C. California State - Department of Corrections - Susanville, California

The co-ordinator at this institution feels that the vocational aspect of this dog training program is complex but also enjoyable for the inmates. The program is also used with "problem inmates" in an attempt to reach them as well as teach them discipline. As a result of the labour and patience required to succeed in this program, the inmates have become more respectful of their environment. The inmates report that they have acquired a tremendous amount of knowledge by participating in this program. For instance, they explained that they have learned how to deal with wild horses through greater understanding of their own nature and patience. In short, the inmates discovered how to get in touch with their emotions and understand themselves more as well as how to work with, as well as learn from, others. Overall, there have been mutual benefits for both the inmates and the horses. Both inmates and staff hold this program in high regard.