Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts in Criminal Justice (MACJ)


Criminal Justice, Criminology, & Forensics

First Advisor

Elaine Gunnison

Second Advisor

Peter Collins

Third Advisor

Alex Kigerl


With the ever-growing prison population in the United States, it is imperative to continue to examine programs that may foster reductions in recidivism rates. In the minimal observatory studies that have been conducted on animal programs in prison, it has been concluded that these programs have a positive effect on the inmates, prison environment, the animals, and the community. Implementations of these programs are in place nationwide, but thorough research and evaluation of methods and outcomes of these programs remain scarce. The purpose of this thesis is to gather data through interviews about the personal and community impacts of such programs by questioning formerly incarcerated individuals who successfully completed a prison animal program at a correctional facility in Washington State. The goal of the analysis is to understand the current benefits of prison animal programs to assist in future implementations.