In 2015 Animal Protection League and Pendleton Correctional Facility in Indiana started a program called F.O.R.W.A.R..
The idea behind the program
The concept behind the program was to take cats from a shelter and allow inmates of the correctional facility to take care of them. This proved successful for all parties involved.
Many of the cats who were in the shelter had become antisocial due to mistreatment.
This has made them hard to get adopted. This program helps them regain trust in people thus making it easier to find them a home.
The cats become more trusting of people as the inmates clean, groom and feed the cats.
This program also allows inmates to learn how to care for another living creature.
“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,” said the director of APL, Maleah Stringer.
“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 website.
This program has been so successful that other similar programs have popped up all over the United States.
“The MCKC Program has reduced offender idleness, taught offenders about responsibility and increased their self-esteem. Since the program’s inception, offenders have been motivated to enroll in school, obtain jobs, obey unit rules and improve their hygiene so that they may become MCKC participants. The presence of animals on E Unit has added a new calmness to E Unit’s therapeutic milieu and strengthened its community spirit,” Purrfect Pals writes on their website