Abandoned Horses Find Home with Prison Inmates in Warren 

There is no limit to the responsibilities on a small farm off Cushing Road in Warren, a kind of freedom a worker like Chris can appreciate.”I’m usually up here about 6:30 every morning. I feed him and groom him and spend some time with him,” said Chris.He helps provide shelter for rescued horses, Bradley and Lincoln, seven days a week.He explained, “It’s definitely a full time job, but you know, it works out good for both of us.”The farm is just across the street from his home for the next two years, the Bolduc Correctional Facility.”Gives me something positive to do with my time, keeps me out of trouble,” said Chris, grinning.He and three other inmates are charged with maintaining the place, a sort of haven for both animals and people alike.”We’ve been putting up the new paddock for the two horses that are coming, remodeling the building. I like being up here, away from everything down there,” said inmate, Eric Weston.The farm is part of a joint effort between the facility and the Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry. The department’s Commissioner, Walt Whitcomb, said, “It’s a great tribute to a lot of effort on the part of people who really care about animals and who really care about what is the future well being of people who are incarcerated.”They call it horse therapy, a program that gives a glimpse of the outside life to those confined here.”It’s a great responsibility and a lot of these offenders have never had a responsibility before. Their attitude about life, their attitude with other people, their attitude about work. It changes everything,” said facility director, Benjamin Beal.For inmates like Chris, passionate about the job, it has left him free to dream about a future of unlimited possibilities.”I’m actually hoping this will lead to something when I get out, as far as working with horses and other animals,” said Chris.