Correctional Service Canada
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Women Offender Programs and Issues

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Pet Facilitated Therapy in Correctional Institutions


K. Why Programs Close

The following information was extracted from The SCAS Journal (Winter 1996):

In some prisons the recent emphasis on security led to closure. In other cases when a key staff member or prisoner leaves the establishment programmes can founder. The commitment of the governor is critical to the success of the programme. There is a high turnover of governors, officers and prisoners. Unless programmes are strong such changes can seriously weaken them. All too often one or two individuals run the prison pet programme -- with insufficient involvement by others. Hence the problems when these people leave. Problems for individual prisoners can also arise when they are transferred to other establishment if they are not allowed to take their companion animal with them. Some men will give the bird to their families to await their release. However others refuse to progress through the system rather than be parted from their companion.

The above should be noted by those who are on the planning committee in an attempt to avoid these problems.