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Animal Programs in Prison: A Comprehensive Assessment

Gennifer Furst
Animal Programs in Prison: A Comprehensive Assessment
ISBN: 978-1-935049-34-0
2011/179 pages/LC: 2010049928
A FirstForumPress Book
"This book provides a much-needed examination of how prison-based animal programs operate, their prevalence, and the theoretical explanations for why these programs work. It will interest academics and practitioners alike, as well as those interested in human-animal relations generally."—Amy J. Fitzgerald, University of Windsor

"An important baseline study for future work on animals-in-prison programs."—Patrick Jackson, Sonoma State University


Gennifer Furst provides the first comprehensive look at prison-based animal programs, an innovative  approach to rehabilitation that draws on the benefits of human-animal interactions.

Analyzing a national survey of these programs and also presenting in-depth case studies, Furst pinpoints the mechanisms that transform prisoners’ lives and reduce the chances of recidivism. The result is a thought-provoking exploration of a correctional programming idea that promises to benefit inmates, animals, and communities alike.


Gennifer Furst is assistant professor of sociology at William Paterson University of New Jersey.


  • Introduction.
  • The Logic of Animal-Assisted Activities.
  • The Evolution of Prison Programming. 
  • Contemporary Programs.
  • Who Benefits and Why: Theoretical Implications.
  • Emerging Ideas in Punishment.
  • The Future of Animals in Prison.