Horses and Inmates

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We’ll take you to a state prison in Florence where inmates are training horses for adoption and the horses are helping keep them out of prison in the future.

TED SIMONS: INMATES AT THE STATE PRISON IN FLORENCE ARE TRAINING WILD HORSES FOR ADOPTION BUT THE HORSES ARE TRAINING THE INMATES JUST AS MUCH. PRODUCER CHLOE RANSHAW HAS THE STORY.

LELAND JACOT: WE GET OUT HERE AT 6:00 EVERY MORNING. WE FEED. FIRST THING WE HAVE TO DO IS OUR CHORES OUT HERE. THAT'S THE MOST IMPORTANT THING, OUR ANIMALS.

RANDY HELM: IN THE ACTUAL FUNCTIONAL SENSE, EVERY INMATE, WHEN THEY COME OUT, THEY START CLEANING STALLS, FEEDING. NO ONE ADVANCES BEYOND HAVING THE RESPONSIBILITY OF HAVING TO CLEAN STALLS, SO YOU DON'T EVER GET BETTER THAN THAT. I THINK THAT -- THE GROUND IS LEVEL RIGHT THERE. EVERYBODY DOES THAT. IN THE GENERAL SENSE, WHAT'S EXPECTED OF INMATES WHEN THEY COME INTO THE PROGRAM IS THAT THEY ARE WILLING TO LEARN, AND WILLING TO WORK.

LELAND JACOT: WE HAVE A PRETTY BUSY SCHEDULE OUT HERE. THE THING ABOUT IT, WHEN YOU ARE OUT HERE, IT'S A WHOLE DIFFERENT WORLD THAN BEING IN THERE. WE GET TO COME OUT HERE AND WE HAVE A PURPOSE OUT HERE.

RANDY HELM: WHAT WE DO IS, THEY PROGRESS FROM THERE, THEIR ABILITY IN TRAINING, AND THEIR ABILITY WITH THE HORSE AND UNDERSTANDING THE PROCESS.

LELAND JACOT: THIS IS MY TRAINING HORSE TON TOE. HE'S A LITTLER CANTANKEROUS SOMETIMES, HE'S GOT HIS OWN PERSONALITY.

RANDY HELM: I LIKE EVERY INMATE TO HAVE A COUPLE OF DIFFERENT HORSES AT A COUPLE OF DIFFERENT STAGES.

LELAND JACOT: THE FIRST HORSE I TRAINED, IT WAS HARD LETTING GO, BUT THEN YOU REALIZE, THAT'S WHAT OUR JOB IS.

RANDY HELM: IT'S ALMOST IMPOSSIBLE NOT TO HAVE AN ELEMENT OF BONDING THERE.

LELAND JACOT: THE MOST IMPORTANT THING IS WITH THE ANIMALS, IT'S TAKING CARE OF THEM. THEY ARE IN THESE PENS. THEY CAN'T TAKE CARE OF THEMSELVES. THEY RELY ON US.

RANDY HELM: THEY HAVE TO MAKE A COMMITMENT TO THE HORSE OR THE BORO. THE RELATIONSIP REALLY STARTS DEVELOPING THERE. BY THE TIME THEY HAVE TRAINED A HORSE, THEY ASSOCIATE THOSE THINGS. THIS IS A HORSE THAT CAME OUT OF THE WILD AND WON'T SURVIVE IN THE NEW WORLD UNLESS THE HORSE MAKES CHANGES.

LELAND JACOT: THE HORSES COME OUT OF THE WILD AND THEY ARE USED TO LIVING A WHOLE DIFFERENT SET OF RULES. IT RELATES TO US BECAUSE WE GO THROUGH OUR LIFE TRYING TO LIVE TWO SETS OF RULES, AND YOU CAN'T DO THAT. YOU LOOK BACK ON JUST HOW MUCH -- HOW MUCH I HAVE WASTED AND I DON'T HAVE THAT MUCH TIME TO WASTE ANYMORE. I HAVE KIDS OUT THERE DEPENDING ON ME. I HAVE GRANDKIDS.

RANDY HELM: THE GUYS MAY NOT LEAVE HERE AND BECOME HORSE TRAINERS, BUT IF THEY HAVE A WORK ETHIC AND THEY ARE TEACHABLE AND THEY HAVE INTEGRITY, THEY ARE WELL ON THEIR WAY.

LELAND JACOT: UNFORTUNATE AS IT MAY SEEM COMING TO PRISON, IT'S ONE OF THE BETTER THINGS THAT HAS HAPPENED IN MY LIFE. IT'S MADE ME REALIZE THERE IS STILL SO MUCH OUT THERE.

RANDY HELM: IF I HAVE TO CHOOSE YOU LEAVING WITH THE ABILITY TO LEAVE WITH A GOOD JOB OR GOOD CHARACTER, I WOULD CHOOSE GOOD CHARACTER. GOOD CHARACTER GETS YOU A LOT OF PLACES. INTENT IS GETTING AS MANY HORSES ADOPTED AS POSSIBLE. RANCHERS ADOPT QUITE A FEW AND BORDER PATROL ADOPTS THEM AS WELL. WE HAVE A FEW INMATES THAT HAVE THE HORSE THEY TRAINED HERE.

LELAND JACOT: HE'S MY BUDDY. HE GETS TO GO HOME WITH ME. THEY SAY A HORSE IS A MIRROR IMAGE OF THEIR TRAINER, SO I'M PRETTY FORTUNATE.

TED SIMONS: HEAD INSTRUCTOR RANDY HELM SAYS IN THE PAST FIVE YEARS ONLY TWO INMATES HAVE BEEN REINCARCERATED AFTER COMPLETING THE PROGRAM.

TED SIMONS: TUESDAY ON "ARIZONA HORIZON," HOW TO AVOID BEING A VICTIM OF E-MAIL ATTACKS BY FOREIGN HACKERS, AND THERE'S A NEW LOCALLY-DEVELOPED TEST FOR LYME DISEASE THAT MAKES FOR QUICKER AND MORE ACCURATE DIAGNOSIS. THAT'S AT 5:30 AND 10:00 HERE ON "ARIZONA HORIZON." THAT IS IT FOR NOW. I'M TED SIMONS. THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR JOINING US. YOU HAVE A GREAT EVENING.

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