Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Jail Cats Provide Stress Relief and Companionship to Inmates

Jail adopts cats to help inmates relieve stress (Click here to watch if the video doesn't load)

No, these kitties aren't doing time for cat burglary! Inmates at a jail in North Platte, Nebraska who spent time volunteering at a local animal shelter got quite a surprise when they recently found out they would be able to bring two of the cats "home" with them.

Sheriff Jerome Kramer says that the cats named Sarge and Nemo, were adopted and brought into the facility to help relieve stress and provide much needed companionship.

Watching the news clip above, you can really see how quickly some of the inmates have bonded with the new feline residents, and Kramer tells WALB that despite having a laminated list of "cat rules" that includes basic care such as brushing and litter box duty, they're still lining up for the responsibility.

While the cats are a welcome addition for both the prisoners and staff alike, they're not the only ones who stand to benefit from the unlikely partnership. Kramer adds, "They'll have a really good life here. It's a good deal for the cats. Who knows what would happen to them otherwise. Hopefully this is a good future for them."



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9 comments:

Admiral Hestorb said...

How interesting and unexpected. I love this. I wish it would happene everywhere.

Alyssa S said...

Awwww me too. I love that cats bring out the soft sides of everyone. (well, most)

Anonymous said...

Adfreak's kinda raunchy isn't it??? You know what they say, Junk in...

Random Felines said...

I love the idea....cats find a home and inmates get some comfort. Obviously the safety of the animals has to come first, but I think this is great. And heck, they are getting more attention than the average house cat where the people work. Maybe we could turn them into fosters???

Anonymous said...

sorry, i dont think that inmates should have stress releif..let them rot in jail.....no comforts..no tv..basic food and drink..no tv...pay for their crimes..

Catsparella said...

@Anon I do see your point. On the other hand, I think it allows the opportunity to teach the inmates about responsibility and being compassionate towards other beings. I also appreciate that these shelter cats are being given a second chance.

KokoroPurrs said...

This is a marvelous idea. When mum and I visit the girls at juvie, we are always so happy to see the amazing magic the animals have on the kids. Sometimes we wonder if this might be one of the few times these inmates have had any love. As to the commentator above Cat, as we can't keep everyone locked up for ever, (as it is we spend more money on prisons than we do on higher educating for our kids ) it seems like a good idea to help reform our prison population.

Jen said...

Anonymous - Prison cat programs are excellent ways to lower the recidivism rate amongst inmates and reduce violence within the facility. A lot of inmates come in with nothing to lose, no respect for anyone or anything, and a feeling that they have been abandoned by society.

When they receive a cat to care for (most inmates have a great deal of compassion for animals, no matter how they may behave towards humans), it could very well be the first time that they have experienced unconditional love. They also run the risk of losing their cat (it could also be the first time they have something to lose, as well) if they have any behavior infractions, so rates of inmate violence drop.

The warden of Indiana State Prison (where the concept of prison cat programs started, to my knowledge) believes that cat programs should be implemented in every prison, and I agree with him. Inmates learn compassion and become less violent, which makes things easier and safer for the staff, and an abandoned cat gets a home with a loving caretaker. Everyone wins.

Anonymous said...

Jen, well said.

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