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Boone County Jail uses cats to help inmates

Boone County Jail pairs 'Cuffs and Collars'
Posted at 1:08 PM, Feb 11, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-11 17:06:07-05

BOONE COUNTY, Ind. -- The Boone County Jail is teaming up with the local humane society to help both the inmates and their new friends, four cats.

"It's kind of a companionship between us and the animals," inmate Aaron McNutt said. "It's not only beneficial for the animal but it's also beneficial for us. We're not always in contact with family. Sometimes we'd just like to have something else to occupy our time, and do the right thing too."

Boone County Sheriff Mike Nielsen says that the inmates will leave the jail better equipped for their new lives because of the program, according to a release.

He also says the program simply improves the inmates' quality of life.

"What happens is, it brings their anxiety level down," Sheriff Nielsen said. "It gives them something to do and it makes them more model inmates when they're inside here."

They're starting the partnership with four cats, and are looking to grow if the program does well.

The cats will be able to roam from cell to cell within their designated cell block.

All the inmates involved in the program volunteered to take part.

"It will probably humble me and probably calm me down in a lot of ways," McNutt said. "They're relieving stress. I don't think about my everyday struggles. When I'm lying in bed and reading my book, and all of the sudden a little cat jumps up and starts rubbing against you -- it's comforting."


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