A captive audience can lead to amazing things. When half of that audience consists of inmates serving time and the other half are adoptable pets waiting for their new homes, it leads to remarkable changes.
SOS Pen Pals in Richmond, VA, works with six different correctional facilities in the state of Virginia. According to their Web site, they promote inmate rehabilitation and increased positive communication and interaction between correctional center staff and the rest of the inmate population.
The Pen Pals program gives inmates job skills to help their transition out of the corrections system. The animals chosen for the program live in the prison with the carefully chosen inmates to learn the skills they need to transition into life in a home. For the cats, this means socialization and for the dogs, training.
Two animal trainers oversee the program and focus on positive reinforcement. Through the program’s efforts, more than 4,000 pets have found new homes!
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