Recidivism and the Wild Horse Inmate Program: A Case Study on the Inmates at the Florence, Arizona State Correctional Center
Keywordsanimal assisted intervention
bureau of land management
prison animal program
wild horse inmate program
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractIn 2012, the Florence Correction Center began an equine-facilitated Prison Animal Program (PAP) called the Wild Horse Inmate Program (WHIP). This PAP sought to address both the Bureau of Land Management's (BLM's) problem of wild horse overpopulation and the prison system's problem of high rates of recidivism. To do this, the program utilized inmates to gentle and train wild horses for adoption. Few studies have been conducted to determine the relationship between equine-facilitated PAPs such as this one and inmate recidivism. This study sought to determine whether there is a relationship between participation in WHIP and reduced rates of recidivism. By creating a comparison group matched subject-to-subject on race, age at time of release, education level, and severity of felony convictions, WHIP participants were compared to like inmates who did not participate in WHIP. Results indicate that there is a strong correlation between participation in WHIP and reduced rates of recidivism. Although the sample size was small, results are strong enough to suggest that the programs are worth continued funding and expansion. Further research is needed to determine the optimal amount of time spent in WHIP and whether programs utilizing other species of animals can be just as effective.
Degree ProgramGraduate College