Petting zoos for prisoners! Now inmates at Category B jail are given a GOAT for therapy sessions to teach them ‘responsibility for others’
- Prisoners at HMP Swaleside in Kent are stroking and feeding pet pygmy goats
- Sessions involve inmates with personality disorders and mental health problems
- Inmates care for pet goats named Karen and Faye in farm area of the jail grounds
Violent inmates are having therapy sessions with goats funded by the NHS, it was reported last night.
Prisoners at category B HMP Swaleside in Kent are stroking and feeding pet pygmy goats to teach them how to ‘take responsibility for others’.
Critics have slammed the courses, which are thought to be costing thousands of pounds, as a waste of taxpayers’ money.
Violent inmates are having therapy sessions with goats funded by the NHS to teach them ‘responsibility for others’
An aerial picture shows HMP Swaleside in Kent where inmates are caring for pet goats named Karen and Faye
Therapy sessions involve inmates at Swaleside’s Personality Disorder Unit with mental health problems not serious enough to be treated in hospital, according to The Sun.
The inmates care for pet goats named Karen and Faye in a farm area of the jail grounds.
David Spencer, research director of the Centre for Crime Prevention, said: ‘It beggars belief that anyone would think this is a reasonable use of resources.
‘Category B prisons house serious criminals. Does anyone really think that petting a few goats is going to keep them on the straight and narrow?’
Harry Fone, of the TaxPayers’ Alliance, added: ‘Equipping inmates with skills to get work on the outside is one thing, but wasting taxpayers’ cash like this really takes the biscuit.’
Swaleside inmates include Tony Smith, 47, who tortured his baby so badly the child’s legs had to be amputated
But Peter Saunders, of child abuse victim support group Napac, said caring for animals ‘can have a therapeutic benefit’.
Swaleside inmates include Tony Smith, 47, who beat his six-week-old son to the point where he needed both legs amputated.
Last year the prison was one of four jails to receive greater security funding to keep inmates under control.
In December 2016 60 inmates took over a wing of the jail before riot-trained staff won it back.
NHS England have been approached for comment.
A spokesman for NHS England said: ‘Local prisons and health services make decisions on what mental health services to provide in their local area.’