Prisoners are being encouraged to turn their backs on gang culture – with the help of a bizarre form of therapy.
In the United Kingdom, convicted gang members in a category B prison are being urged to turn over a new leaf by embracing a novel therapy project – involving ducks.
Yes, you read it right, with the help of Ducks.
The heads at Dovegate jail have placed trust in the power of nature by introducing ducks as part of the prison’s Pet Assisted Therapy Plan.
Dovegate is a category three prison. It generally houses prisoners for terrorist offenses, former gang members, and convicts serving sentences for terrorist offenses, crimes of violence or threat to life, arson, firearms, drugs, sexual offenses, or robbery.
Bosses are hoping the humane approach of introducing pets to prison life may help speed up prisoner reform. As reported by Mirror, Dovegate jail’s Muscovy ducks, which came from a rescue center, have their own pond and wooden shelter near the perimeter wall.
A source said: “At first we thought it was a joke. One of the ducks has even been named Crispy. Someone out there must be having a laugh.” Other measures being used to calm inmates include in-cell yoga, chess, a choir, and plots to grow vegetables and flowers.
A report from the Independent Monitoring Board (IMB) watchdog revealed how the jail near Uttoxeter, Staffs., was working to help violent inmates curb their tendencies.
It said: “The prison has well-maintained and attractive gardens, with productive vegetable and flower growing areas. Grounds are exceptional, with ponds and ducks cared for by prisoners. These have been looked after well.”
More details of this bizarre way of helping prisoners via AWM:
The prison has four therapy ducks. Children of staff working at the prison were given a chance to name the ducks. That’s why the four ducks are called Marvin, Albert, Fire-quacker, and Crispy.
Although the prison believes in the effectiveness of its therapy ducks, some people think the therapy is out of this world.
Kevin Moore, former head of CID at Sussex Police, said, according to Daily Mail: “Prison is a place for punishment and hopefully some rehabilitation. I don’t see how duck therapy is going to make things any better.”
The prison has also adopted a new puppy as part of its Restart Dogs agenda. Inmates are given a chance to train dogs as service animals.
Andy Johnson, Serco Prison Director at HMP Dovegate, said: “We’re delighted that this very positive IMB Report highlighted that we provide lots of animal-related activities such as the ducks in the garden and the Restart Dogs project, which provide prisoners with purposeful activities and help support rehabilitation.”