A minimum security prison in Wyoming, United States, incorporates farming and horse raising in the rehabilitation of prisoners in a bid to promote personal development and environmental sustainability.
Taking care of more than 75,000 wild horses in a 567-hectare reservation is not an easy task – both in manpower and resources. The Wind River Wild Horse Sanctuary has been tasked by the government of Wyoming, United States to oversee these thousands of horses which also affect nearby ecosystems. To gather resources, the sanctuary has already let nearby communities adopt some of the wild horses in exchange for grants.
A nearby minimum sentence prison also took part in the mission of taking care of the wild horses. The prison had previously integrated farming into its rehabilitation program to help inmates in having a livelihood after finishing their prison sentence. The Wyoming Honor Farm is a nearly 260-hectare farm and grazing land where horses can run freely while being taken care of by the prisoners. Because of low risk, the inmates were given freedom in activities such as planting, arranging haystacks, and for those who are thrilled by adventure – taking care of energetic wild horses.
According to Travis Shoopman, the cowboy-in-charge, by letting prisoners take care of the horses, they develop perseverance, patience, and other livestock skills which are valuable once they get out of prison.