The present paper is a critical review of the literature on prison-based animal programs. Within the present review, the author examines the limited available research that has been conducted with these programs, and evaluates the utility of the research presented. Overall the implications are positive, including reduced recidivism; improved confidence, self-esteem, and responsibility; and improved vocational skills for inmates. However, this review highlights the limitations of research in this area, including few studies, small sample sizes, and primarily opinion-based results. Suggestions for future research are explored, including recommendations in designing prison-based animal programs and methods of measuring outcomes.
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