Prisoners Lives Are Being Changed by Shelter Cats in Indiana, USA
These prisoners in Indiana are lucky enough to experience cat therapy while in prison.
Any cat parent will tell you, the feelings experienced when in the presence of cats are usually ones of joy, pleasure and happiness. On top of that they can easily dispel any feelings of stress, hatred and anger, commonly prevalent in prison atmospheres.
The state of Indiana in the USA teamed up with the Animal Protection League and came up with this clever idea.
In a project called FORWARD in 2015 they started moving shelter cats into this prison, with inmates being in charge of caring for the cats.
The prisoners are not the only ones benefiting from this set up. Many of the cats come from troubled backgrounds, and have been stuck in shelters for a while. Socialising with the prisoners in a controlled environment helps the cats become more socialised and more ready for their forever homes.
Feeding and cleaning are some of the tasks prisoners get to take responsibility for. As well as essential cat care duties, the prisoners get to play with and groom the cats.
The whole process can teach, compassion, love and understanding. Not only that, but being with cats is proven to lower blood pressure and fight depression, so the prisoners come away a lot calmer and generally happier. One prisoner even commented that looking after these cats taught him to love something for the first time.
Cats can make a great addition to prisons, as they teach prisoners responsibility, while at the same time giving them the unconditional love and attention that cats are so famous for rewarding their carers with. This is something some of these prisoners have never had before.
I condone this movement. After all, it gets cats out of shelter rooms, and it helps prisoners deal with their issues, making the atmosphere in the prison a lot more calm and relaxed. What are your opinions, do you think these prisoners deserve these lovely cats? Leave your thoughts below…