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Caging Hope: Unleashing Change, Decreasing Stress and Enhancing Resilience with Therapy Dogs Behind Bars

Room B

Hybrid
1.5 CE Hour

Presented By

  • -
    In-Person, Live Webinar

Location

Description

An increasing number of jails and prisons are creating programs involving service dog training and obedience training of shelter dogs; however, not many are integrating therapy dogs into mental health treatment (Furst, 2006). Several Pennsylvania correctional facilities, recognizing the potential benefits, have partnered with Slippery Rock University in the provision of various therapy groups for those who are incarcerated. These prison and jail animal interventions have seen benefits in stress reduction, decreased self-harm and reduced symptoms of grief/loss (Eaton-Stull et al, 2020; Eaton-Stull et al, 2019; Eaton-Stull et al., 2021).

 

Such treatment has the potential to enhance the lives of both the dogs and the individuals who are incarcerated; however, risk assessment and precautions are essential to the success of these partnerships (Eaton-Stull, 2022). This presentation will review an innovative collaborative research study between a university and a county jail where animal-assisted therapy was provided to incarcerated individuals to decrease stress and enhance coping, hope and resilience.

 

Participants will learn about animal welfare considerations and steps taken to assure health, happiness, safety and well-being of all living beings involved in this study (Eaton-Stull, 2023). Participants will hear about the intervention provided to both men and women and the beneficial results of this study.

Learning Objectives

At the end of this course, participants will be able to:

  • Participants will identify animal welfare considerations in correctional settings.

  • Participants will describe animal-assisted therapy group for stress and coping.

  • Participants will summarize benefits of animal-assisted therapy.

CE Policy
This course is fiscally sponsored by International Association of Veterinary Social Work . There may be potential biases or conflicts of interest inherent to this relationship, and it must be disclosed to participants. These conflicts of interest have no bearing on the course content and have been resolved.
Yvonne Eaton-Stull

An increasing number of jails and prisons are creating programs involving service dog training and obedience training of shelter dogs; however, not many are integrating therapy dogs into mental health treatment (Furst, 2006). Several Pennsylvania correctional facilities, recognizing the potential benefits, have partnered with Slippery Rock University in the provision of various therapy groups for those who are incarcerated.

 

These prison and jail animal interventions have seen benefits in stress reduction, decreased self-harm and reduced symptoms of grief/loss (Eaton-Stull et al, 2020; Eaton-Stull et al, 2019; Eaton-Stull et al., 2021). Such treatment has the potential to enhance the lives of both the dogs and the individuals who are incarcerated; however, risk assessment and precautions are essential to the success of these partnerships (Eaton-Stull, 2022). This presentation will review an innovative collaborative research study between a university and a county jail where animal-assisted therapy was provided to incarcerated individuals to decrease stress and enhance coping, hope and resilience.

 

Participants will learn about animal welfare considerations and steps taken to assure health, happiness, safety and well-being of all living beings involved in this study (Eaton-Stull, 2023). Participants will hear about the intervention provided to both men and women and the beneficial results of this study.

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