Bites at Animal Planet

23 Jul

Ending the Cycle of Violence Through Serving Others

 

Cathy Fontenot, Assistant Warden at Angola Prison, explains how their rehabilitation programs are designed to promote service and to offer alternatives to violence.

30740_035Louisiana Lockdown has given us the opportunity to raise funds for initiatives that save lives. All proceeds from the series have been used to maintain two very important programs - Pen Pals, a pet shelter created for state emergency evacuations and the Reentry Work Training Program, a vocational training program which pairs short term offenders with long term offender tutors and peer mentors.

We believe it is important to find ways to safely and effectively give back to society.  It is true that offenders have committed terrible crimes. They have caused unspeakable grief and deep pain to their victims and countless others.  Once sentenced to live out their days behind bars, they become a full time burden to the state. They are our responsibility because they have forfeited their freedom. Why not find ways to provide these offenders with a way to give back?

Using offenders to assist in caring for animals and teaching their peers results in serving others. This promotes alternatives to violence and also provides help at no further cost to society.  Ending the cycle of violence equates to protecting the public and that is our first and foremost mission. Giving lifers and long term offenders a chance to serve others rather than serve "just" time behind bars makes them accountable and penitent.  We stand to realize more peace in the future by moving past our old ways of approaching the correcting of criminal behavior.  We hope viewers come away with this message.

 

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