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 RAN SHAW HAS THE STORY.

LELAND JACOT: WE GET OUT HERE AT 6:00 EVERY MORNING. WE FEED. FIRST THING WE DO IS OUR CHORES OUT HERE. THAT'S THE MOST IMPORTANT THING WITH 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 TO CLEAN STALLS. YOU DON'T EVER GET BETTER THAN THAT. I THINK THAT'S JUST THE GROUND IS LEVEL RIGHT THERE. EVERYBODY DOES THAT. IN A GENERAL SENSE, WHAT'S EXPECTED OF INMATES WHEN THEY COME INTO THE PROGRAM, THEY ARE WILLING TO LEARN, AND WILLING TO WORK.

LELAND JACOT: WE HAVE A BUSY SCHEDULE OUT HERE. THE GOOD THING ABOUT IT, WHEN WE ARE HERE, IT'S DIFFERENT FROM BEING THERE. WE HAVE A PURPOSE OUT HERE.

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

LELAND JACOT: THIS IS MY HORSE TONTO. HE'S CANTANKEROUS.

RANDY HELM: I LIKE EVERY INMATE TO HAVE A COUPLE HORSES TO WORK WITH, WITH MULTIPLE STAGES. THEY MAY BE FINISHING ONE STAGE AND STARTING ANOTHER.

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

RANDY HELM: IT'S ALMOST IMPOSSIBLE TO NOT HAVE AN ELEMENT OF BONDING THERE. THE MOST IMPORTANT THING WITH THE ANIMALS IS TAKING CARE OF THEM. THAT'S A BIG THING. THEY ARE IN PENS AND CAN'T TAKE CARE OF THEMSELVES. THEY RELY ON US.

RANDY HELM: THEY HAVE TO MAKE A COMMITMENT TO THE HORSE OR BURROW. THE RELATIONSHIP STARTS DEVELOPING THERE. BY THE TIME THEY HAVE TRAINED A HORSE, THEY START ASSOCIATING THOSE THINGS. HERE'S A HORSE OUT OF THE WILD, IS NOT GOING TO SURVIVE IN THIS NEW WORLD, IF YOU WILL, UNLESS THE HORSE CAN MAKE CHOICES AND CHANGES.

LELAND JACOT: THE HORSES COME OUT OF THE WILD AND STUFF. THEY ARE USED TO A WHOLE DIFFERENT SET OF RULES. IT RELATES TO US BECAUSE WE GO THROUGH OUR LIVES LIVING TWO SETS OF RULES. YOU CAN'T DO THAT. YOU LOOK BACK ON JUST HOW MUCH I HAVE WASTED. 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 LEAVE HERE WITH A WORK ETHIC, TEACHABLE AND WITH 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'S HAPPENED TO ME. IT'S MADE ME REALIZE THERE'S SO MUCH OUT THERE.

RANDY HELM: IF I HAVE TO CHOOSE BETWEEN THE ABILITY OF HAVING A GOOD JOB OR GOOD CHARACTER, I WOULD ALWAYS CHOOSE GOOD CHARACTER OVER A GOOD JOB. GOOD CHARACTER WILL GET YOU A LOT OF PLACES. INTENT IS ADOPTING OUT AS MANY HORSES AS WE CAN FIND A GOOD HOMES FOR THEM. INDIVIDUAL TRAIL RIDING IS THE PRIMARY FUNCTION OR ADOPTER. RANCHERS ADOPT QUITE A FEW. BORDER PATROL AS WELL. THERE ARE A FEW INMATES THAT HAVE GOTTEN OUT.

LELAND JACOT: HERE'S MY BUDDY. THEY SAY THE HORSE IS A MIRROR IMAGE OF THE TRAINER. I'M PRETTY FORTUNATE.

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

TED SIMONS: TUESDAY ON ARIZONA HORIZON: WE'LL HEAR ABOUT SOME OF THE DEADLIEST WEATHER EVENTS IN HISTORY, INCLUDING A CYCLONE THAT KILLED 300-THOUSAND PEOPLE. AND ARIZONA'S SPELLING BEE CHAMP IS HEADING TO THE "NATIONAL" SPELLING BEE NEXT WEEK IN THE NATION'S CAPITOL. THAT'S THE NEXT ARIZONA HORRIZON. THAT'S IT FOR NOW. I'M TED SIMON. YOU HAVE A GREAT EVENING.

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