A touch of the outside on the inside: the effect of animal contact on the pains/strains of imprisonment [2020]

Prison animal programs have been rapidly becoming commonplace in many correctional facilities around the world. However, the research on their effects are still forthcoming. This study analyzes the effect of prison animal programs on inmates’ perceptions on the pains/strains of imprisonment through the use of surveys given to a diverse group of male inmates at three South Carolina correctional facilities. Results indicate that both direct and indirect contact with animals (dogs, cats, horses, cattle and bees) leads to a reduction in their perceptions of the pains/strains of imprisonment when compared to a similar group of inmates with no animal contact. These findings have important policy implications for correctional administrators regarding the use of animals to reduce inmate discontent.

Leslie Hill
Journal of Offender Rehabilitation, 21 Aug 2020