Well, this is just heartwarming. Inmates at a Nebraska jail who volunteered at a local animal shelter were recently given the chance to adopt two cats from the shelter, making jail suck just a little bit less for them. “I wondered how those would work out in the jail as far as helping the guys pass time,” said Jerome Kramer, the sheriff who had the idea, “and just feel a little more at ease.” Wow, that’s way nicer than I expected a sheriff in Nebraska to be to inmates. “…And possibly less destructive to our new facility.” Aaaah, I see.
The inmates look unspeakably happy to be petting and playing with the two kitties, Nemo and Sarge, especially that first one. Look at that boyish grin! What’s he in for, stealing lollipops? Another inmate featured, a slightly more imposing looking fellow, is into it, too. “It just brings out the soft part in you, like when your kids do,” he explained. Time spent with a furry friend is time spent not shanking anyone.
There are actually a bunch of animal-related programs in jails across the country, and studies have shown that they help make inmates feel less stressed and hence less likely to start trouble. In one, inmates train shelter dogs to make them adoptable, saving the dogs’ lives and learning a valuable job skill in the process. Most inmates do eventually get released, and it helps keep them from committing more crimes if they are not hard, hollow husks of people when they walk out of there. Adorable animals: rehabilitating America’s prison population, one cuddle at a time.