Correctional Service Canada
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Women Offender Programs and Issues

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Pet Facilitated Therapy in Correctional Institutions


G. Screening Participants

PFT programs in correctional institutions are done on a strictly voluntary basis for inmates interested. They are assessed to ensure their suitability and commitment to the program. Participants should be mentally stable and must demonstrate they are capable of accepting responsibility. Inmates should be put on a two-week probation period to determine whether or not the program is appropriate for them. Previous experience with animals is not a prerequisite and literacy skills should not be mandatory. Once the inmate has been accepted into the program, a program contract should be signed (sample contracts are presented in Appendices V and VI). This contract should clearly describe the program’s rules and regulations. If the inmate fails to obey the contract, suspension and program termination should be anticipated as penalties.