Indiana Jail Pairs Cats with Convicts To Improve Quality of Life for Both

BOONE COUNTY, INDIANA. — The Boone County Jail has teamed up with the local humane society to help both the inmates and their new friends, four cats.

“It’s kind of a companionship between us and the animals,” inmate Aaron McNutt said. “It’s not only beneficial for the animal but it’s also beneficial for us. We’re not always in contact with family. Sometimes we’d just like to have something else to occupy our time, and do the right thing too.”

Boone County Sheriff Mike Nielsen says that the inmates will leave the jail better equipped for their brand new lives because of the program, according to a release.

He also says that the program simply improves the inmates’ quality of life.

“What happens is, it brings their anxiety level down,” Sheriff Nielsen said. “It gives them something to do and it makes them more model inmates when they’re inside here.”

They’re starting the partnership with four cats, and are looking to grow if the program succeeds.

The cats will be allowed to roam from cell to cell within their designated cell block.

All the inmates involved in the program have volunteered to take part.

“It will probably humble me and probably calm me down in a lot of ways,” McNutt said. “They’re relieving stress. I don’t think about my everyday struggles. When I’m lying in bed and reading my book, and all of the sudden a little cat jumps up and starts rubbing against you — it’s comforting.”