Matching Prison Inmates with Cats?

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  1. Cagsil profile image73
    Cagsilposted 11 years ago

    Hey everyone,

    Check this out: … 23194.html

    A program that matches a cat with a prison inmate. Pretty interesting approach.

    What do you think?

    1. SomewayOuttaHere profile image60
      SomewayOuttaHereposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      i notice it is a minimum security place...could be an interesting type of rehab program and may have a positive impact...however, it's the west coast right!..those lefties are always dreamin' up touchy feely approaches to issues......just kidding...i'm on the west coast  big_smile

      1. Cagsil profile image73
        Cagsilposted 11 years agoin reply to this

        Yeah, it's minimum security, but I thought it was interesting and figured I would get other people's input. Thank you. smile

  2. Shanna11 profile image77
    Shanna11posted 11 years ago

    Fluffy purring creatures make great, inexpensive therapy. If it keeps the cats from being put down and helps the convicts, it's a win-win situation.

    1. Cagsil profile image73
      Cagsilposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      I agree. smile

  3. SomewayOuttaHere profile image60
    SomewayOuttaHereposted 11 years ago

    a side note...i bring a neighbour's dog into where i work, once every few weeks...the staff love it when he comes in and he visits each one of them....he brightens up their day, etc. etc.  the dog has a similar effect ...that's why i do it.  (mind you my staff are not in jail big_smile but they do experience stress around the type of work they do)

    1. Cagsil profile image73
      Cagsilposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      Cool! cool

  4. profile image0
    Arlene V. Pomaposted 11 years ago

    These guys are in a minimum facility in Washington.  They are about to be paroled.  It's all well and good that they save kitties and feel good about it, but there is nothing mentioned here to prepare them for when they parole.  No job training involved here.  In California, we have fire camps.  For most inmates that are qualified to fight fires and complete training, they become firefighters for a living.

    1. Cagsil profile image73
      Cagsilposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      Yes, I noticed that they didn't get into the details of the Prisons plans on rehab of the inmates. It only said something about keeping them in line because the cats gives them something to lose.

  5. profile image0
    Arlene V. Pomaposted 11 years ago

    Okay, it's like this.  I started writing for newspapers in the 70s, and the old rule to sell newspapers was set by most editors.  To attract the public's attention, it goes like this:

    1)  Photographs of babies and children sell.
    2)  Kittens, puppies and some baby animals sell.
    3)  Pretty girls and beauty queens sell.  Now, you can throw in actresses.  In fact, actresses have replaced most high fashion models when it comes to magazine covers.

    So to make the public feel warm and fuzzy about inmates and prison, the media decided to throw in the kitties. 

    I worked three California prisons, but retired around 1999.  Pelican Bay (supermax), a prison associated with a fire camp and a Youth Authority prison for youthful offenders.

    Believe me.  No one really wants to think about prison.  Most people have this distorted view that the poor inmate doesn't deserve to be there.  I think it's from all the television programs that we grew up with.  People will believe what they want to believe.  Even on this site, I have seen "fiction" about prison.  The authors never set foot in prison, yet they get so pushed out of shape when you call them on it.

    Prison is a revolving door.  If there is no rehabilitation or support from an inner circle, inmates keep coming back.

    An inmate has nothing to lose.  That's what makes them dangerous.

    1. Cagsil profile image73
      Cagsilposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      Thank you for the info.

  6. Dame Scribe profile image58
    Dame Scribeposted 11 years ago

    Animals are a form of great therapy smile I know a gal who raises miniature rabbits, absolutely adorable! and she takes them weekly to elderly shut-ins.

    1. Cagsil profile image73
      Cagsilposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      That's cool! smile

  7. profile image63
    logic,commonsenseposted 11 years ago

    Well you know what they say, a little pussy cat never hurt anyone! smile

    1. Mighty Mom profile image77
      Mighty Momposted 11 years agoin reply to this
      Unless you're a canary, of course.

      1. Cagsil profile image73
        Cagsilposted 11 years agoin reply to this

        Especially if you're a Canary. lol lol

      2. profile image0
        Arlene V. Pomaposted 11 years agoin reply to this

        I hope what I'm seeing in that cat's mouth is the remains of a feather duster!

      3. paradigmsearch profile image60
        paradigmsearchposted 11 years agoin reply to this

        That is one heck of a cat and one heck of a pic!

    2. Cagsil profile image73
      Cagsilposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      Thank you Logic, as usual your response is what is expected from you. tongue lol

  8. Mighty Mom profile image77
    Mighty Momposted 11 years ago

    Seriously, I think this program sounds like a win/win. THe felines get saved from euthanasia. Who can fault that?
    The inmates get to have a fuzzy huggy lovey rescued pet. It's pretty hard to be a tough guy around a kitty.
    They are healing sponges that sit on your lap and soak up all your negative karma.
    I love this idea.
    Unless, of course, the cats end up leaving the prison having sucked up all the bad habits of their owners and start robbing pet stores or snorting catnip...

    1. Cagsil profile image73
      Cagsilposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      lol lol

  9. profile image0
    Motown2Chitownposted 11 years ago

    I am an extreme devotee of MSNBC's 'Lockup.'  I've spent time inside most maximum security facilities in the U.S. through that show.  There are several max security institutions that are matching cats to inmates and it's a very successful thing.  Many of the inmates are serving long term sentences - up to life in some cases - but the cats reverse some of the hopelessness they live with and decrease the level of violence that occurs in the prison.  In some cases, the inmates are unable to connect emotionally with other people, but they show patience and affection to the cats that seems to calm them and allow for easier interaction with staff and other inmates.

    My two cents.


    1. Cagsil profile image73
      Cagsilposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      Thank you Motown. smile

  10. profile image0
    Arlene V. Pomaposted 11 years ago

    While working at The Bay, I used to imagine my inmates with knitting needles,  doing charity knitting to pass the time and for the good.  NOT!!!  They would find a way to sharpen those needles and kill each other or assault staff.  This is a supermax prison, and TV won't show you what they can do to each other if given the chance.  TV likes to edit things that don't look pretty.

    I used to work with miniature horses and would bring them to Shriners and convalescent hospitals.  I know the value of animals for therapy.  That is why I would only give a kitty to  inmates in a minimum security unit if they earned it by good behavior.  Better chance of the kitty surviving and getting loves.

    1. profile image0
      Motown2Chitownposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      Have you ever watched 'Lockup' on MSNBC, Arlene?  It's...uh, not very pretty.  Often, it's bloodier than your best blood and guts horror movie.  And, they generally spend months inside max and supermax prisons.  They don't hit federal penitentiaries or minimum/maximum security facilities.

  11. profile image0
    Deb Welchposted 11 years ago

    In Best Friends magazine May/June 2012 issue - there is a full-length article about Compassion Behind Bars -Jailhouse Cats -in Northern Nevada Correctional Center outside of Carson City - a medium security prison - a rural section of the country.  (67 cats roam freely in the prison yard)  The prisoners name them and take care of them - they give the inmates self-worth and something to care for. This is helping feral cats too. It mentions in Indiana - a facility - some prisoners are allowed to have a cat.Yhe waiting list is long. It is a good program.  The cats too may have never known a gentle touch of compassion.  Best Friends Animal Sanctuary clsims this is an innovative way to save cats.  They say the prisoner's state of mind is the real reason why these programs are embraced within Penitentiaries around the country. I am all for it.

  12. IzzyM profile image87
    IzzyMposted 11 years ago

    Cats for inmates?

    I'd like to say Only in America, but in the UK inmates get Tv, internet, home comforts, conjugal visits, three square meals a day etc etc, and it just annoys the Hell out of people!

    People are in jail as a punishment, because they were right bastards on the outside and deserve not just a life of incarceration, but a miserable life to boot!

    If they can't behave in prison, put them down. Society doesn't need them - that is why they have been taken out of society in the first place - they are not fit to be among the rest of us.

    In some parts of the US inmates get the chance to become firefighters?

    Well bully for them! What message does that send the youth unemployed that would love to work as a firefighter - just commit a crime and you'll get a job when you've done your time.

    Tell me how on Earth are cats going to tame these people to make them become normal members of society?

    Unless of course, the US locks people up in jail for next to nothing.

    1. Dame Scribe profile image58
      Dame Scribeposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      Canada use to do the same tongue have all those 'privileges' but removed them due to costs and outrage from the public. I think 'lock down' occurs more often now and they are removing social programs that did provide success in rehabilitation sad sorry, a tad off topic smile just wanted to add this.

  13. profile image0
    Arlene V. Pomaposted 11 years ago

    Motown, why should I care about some television program?  I worked at Pelican Bay State Prison, so I don't think like Joe or Jane Public and get my kicks watching these programs.  I earned my BADGE, and I sure as hell didn't earn it sitting in front of the telly.  I don't care to see "best blood and guts" like you do.  Prison is HUMAN SUFFERING.  You have to be there.

    1. profile image0
      Motown2Chitownposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      I'm sorry, but there must have been a misunderstanding about what I actually said.  Nothing I said implied that prison was some sort of jolly time.  How do you know I haven't been there.  I think this response was condescending, sarcastic, and a bit arrogant.  I am not Jane Public.  I do not 'get my kicks' watching this program.  I figure you assume I do nothing but watch television because I mentioned one television program that I watch on a regular basis.  Do you know why I watch it?  Do you care? certainly do not. 

      The only other thing I might suggest is that you get to know someone a bit before making a comment as caustic as this one.  I do not desire to see 'best blood and guts' (at least have the courtesy to quote my statement correctly, for pity's sake).  I may have experienced more human suffering in my lifetime than you can don't know. 

      And, please, do NOT assume that you are the only person who truly has compassion.  Actually, please try to refrain from making assumptions about at all.  You never know where people have been, what they've done, what's been done to them, and what kind of human suffering they may actually have experienced.  I have a family member in a maximum security prison.  Do you?

      Lastly - you may have worked at Pelican Bay, but you weren't an inmate.  I'm sure they experience the suffering in a way you will never understand.  Remember - you got to go home at the end of the day.

  14. profile image0
    Arlene V. Pomaposted 11 years ago

    And a little compassion may help.

  15. profile image0
    Deb Welchposted 11 years ago

    I would not go as far as saying inmates are bastards.  Many have done wrong and are sorry for what mistakes they have done - prison is a place for that - to reform and rehabilitate.  We all have blood running through us - we are all human - whether life has turned you against the law or to follow by the law. Prison is the place to learn exactly that - taking care of a small animal is no frill.  An inmate has to earn that priviledge. If an animal such as a cat can transform someone's state of mind from mean to kind or rough to mild - I see something good in that program.

    1. IzzyM profile image87
      IzzyMposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      I met a guy once who was kind to animals and nice to people.

      Then, out of the blue, he tried to kill me.

      He gave me two black eyes, fractured my jaw, ribs, neck and I lost three vertebrae, and pulled my hair out by the roots, so it wasn't just a mild slap he gave me!

      During that vicious attack he also held a long sharp knife to my chest and threatened to push it in. I was never so frightened in my life, and escaping with my life is something I will be forever grateful for.

      It turned out he had been in and out of prisons all of his adult life, and should never have been allowed free to roam among the public.

      Some people should be locked up for life with no parole, because they are not fit to amongst others.

      Violent offenders should be locked up for the safety of others, not just as a punishment, but victims need to know they are not having a cushy life inside.

      Not when they have to suffer the effects of what that person did for the rest of their life.

      Pussy cats? Huh.

  16. profile image0
    Deb Welchposted 11 years ago

    There are those that need to be locked up - I agree - but you cannot generalize and lump all prisoners into one category. People are people - bad, good, ugly mean, or a sweetheart.  Sorry to hear about your conflict and injury Izzy. Prison life is conjested - way too many are being locked up for just having posession of marijuana.  They should get Community Service and not fill up prisons.

    1. IzzyM profile image87
      IzzyMposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      I totally agree that the prisons are being filled up with the wrong type of prisoner.

      Someone growing a bit of hash, or even defrauding an insurance company should not be jailed, along with shop lifters, non-violent bank robbers and the like.

      Prison should be reserved for the people who are dangerous to others, and find some other form of punishment for those who are not.

  17. Will Apse profile image87
    Will Apseposted 11 years ago

    The average criminal in a jail is more of an inadequate than a monster. Most are either illiterate or close to it. Their social skills are poor.

    They have been born into a kind of hell. Deprived of all the tools they need to get by in the world. Then locked away.

    That doesn't mean you can let the dangerous ones wander around. It is just the ultimate misery of ultimate failure.

  18. TomBlalock profile image72
    TomBlalockposted 11 years ago

    Not to be crass, but if it were my cat, it would urinate on the prisoner's bed, and end up promptly  as deep fried kitty, or otherwise dead. Damnable cat....


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