16th June 2014 -- Her Majesty's Prison (HMP) Oakwood, near Wolverhampton which is managed by G4S plc have introduced "pet therapy" to try and calm down the inmates. For some reason cats are excluded. The inmates can be responsible for the care of dogs, rabbits and hamsters but not take them to their cells.
There were riots at this prison fairly recently, I recall. I suppose this is a novel attempt to try and stop future discontent and rioting. Do pets calm people down? Well, yes, quite definitely. It has been proven scientifically as far as I remember.
G4S have a poor record. They messed up recruitment when they were contracted to manage security at the Olympics. The army had to step in in their place or in support.
Is pet therapy at a prison a hairbrained scheme? It depends how the prisoners respond. If they embrace it seriously and don't abuse it, it will help I believe.
This is the first scheme of this type in a British prison as far as I know. Let's hope it works but why were cats excluded? Probably because the cat is unsuited - LOL. Obvious reason. Cats don't like change and some cats won't like the male criminal because they are probably a bit clumsy and insensitive towards a cat. Dangerous for the cat. Also I am sure that most prisoners will be dog types. That is the stereotype.
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