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Women Offender Programs and Issues

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Pet Facilitated Therapy in Correctional Institutions


M. Policies, Rules and Regulations

Formal guidelines are important to govern the activities of a PFT program and they should be incorporated into an institution’s formal regulations. The policy should be rigid enough to observe all existing statutes, sanitation measures, phobias or allergies, yet flexible enough to provide leeway for the inevitable new "situations" that arise when a new individual (the therapy animal is in every way an individual) enters the facility (Cusack and Smith, 1984). Some policies / regulations of existing programs are outlined in Appendices VII and VIII . Adherence to the rules is necessary to ensure everyone in the environment remains safe and healthy. These policies should be reviewed annually to assess if they need to be amended.