Prison Sees Change In Prisoners After Shelter Cats Are Brought In


Cats are pawsome animals and the world is definitely a better place with them around. Not only in real life, but the felines have followers all over the world on social media as well. Having a cat around is beneficial for your health as well.

Spending time with the cats can have a therapeutic effect on humans.

Over the past five years, various cat cafes have come up across the world. This clearly shows that people like to spend time with cats. A prison in Indiana saw somewhat similar effect on the inmates when they brought cats in the prison. The impact of these cats on the inmates was quite visible.

A program named F.O.R.W.A.R. was started in Indiana by the 2015 Animal Protection League and Pendleton Correctional Facility. It is interesting to know how the program came into being. The inmates of the correctional facility were made to take care of the cats that were brought in from the shelter. This was successful for everyone involved, the cats as well as the inmates.

Many cats were not treated properly in the shelter and as a result, they had become antisocial. This was why these cats were not able to find their happy homes easily. The program is helping the cats to gain back trust in humans. Now it has become easier for these cats to find home.

The inmates feed, groom and clean the cats. This is making the cats trust people more. The inmates are also learning to care for other living creatures.

Maleah Stringer, the Director of APL, said,

I’ve had offenders tell me when they got an animal, it was the first time they can remember they were allowing themselves to care about something, to love something.

He also shared,

It teaches them responsibility, how to interact in a group using non-violent methods to solve problems and gives them the unconditional love of a pet – something many of these inmates have never known.

This program has also encouraged other similar programs in the United States. The program has also led to reduction in idleness of the offenders and taught them to be more responsible and also increased their self-esteem.

The inmates also got motivated to enroll into schools and obtain jobs. They are also focusing on increasing their hygiene in order to become the participants of the MCKC Program. The cats also have a calming effect on the inmates.

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