It’s scientifically proven that pets can have numerous positive effects on humans. They benefit our mental well-being and overall make our lives a bit brighter. But, as it turns out, pets also can play a big role in the rehabilitation of people who got into trouble with the law.
Animal Protection League (APL), an animal shelter from Indiana, decided to put the pets’ rehabilitation abilities to test a few years ago and launched a program called F.O.R.W.A.R.D in collaboration with Pendleton Correctional Facility. The idea was to take the cats from the shelter and transfer them to the prison and have inmates take care of them.
There is a mutual benefit for both cats and humans in this program.
Most of the cats in shelters have been abused by their previous owners or mistreated by humans in general, so they have a hard time socializing. Being around inmates all the time and being fed and groomed by them makes them more open to human interaction.
Inmates, on the other hand, get the opportunity to take care of another live being and learn about responsibility.
“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,” – the APL writes on their official website.
The program has been a big success and has encouraged other prisons to try out similar methods of rehabilitation.
You can check out how cats and inmates from Pendleton Correctional Facility spend their days in the photos below.