Wild Horses Help Break Inmates’ Ways, Cut Into Recidivism In Sacramento County Program

RIO OSO (CBS13) — A new program in Sacramento is aiming to prevent crime and break wild horses at the same time by allowing inmates to train them.

Sacramento County officials say not only is it therapeutic for the inmates, but it’s a crime-prevention tool as well.

One day 20 wild mustangs and burros will hopefully be adopted after being rehabilitated by convicted men and women who are also being rehabilitated at the Rio Cosumnes Correctional Center in Elk Grove.

The United States Bureau of Land Management captures wild horses and burros throughout California and Nevada, then partners with organizations like the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department. Selected inmates are trained by an experienced rancher on how to break or calm the animals for adoption.

“They’re not going to able to overpower these horses in anyway shape or form,” said ranch manager Joe Misner.

He said inmates will learn important life lessons from the animals.

“They’re going to learn patience, they’re going to learn guidance they’re going to learn leadership skills,” he said.

These horses aren’t intimidated or impressed by the toughest of inmates.

“They have a hierarchy and system of pecking order, so they understand position and leadership, and if you don’t prove that from the beginning you’ll never accomplish what needs to get done,” he said.

The feds say the program could help keep the streets a little safer.

“The state and local communities win because you heard the sheriff say the rates of recidivism are lower in the trainers, the inmate trainers,” spokeswoman Amy Dumas said.

The sheriff’s department says proceeds from the adoption program are used to fund the program.

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