women prisoners, jail programs, parenting, animal assisted therapy, jail research


With 68% of prisoners recidivating within a three year period, designing and implementing innovative programming within the corrections setting is a necessity. The transient nature of the jail population begets difficulties for its successful implementation and maintenance. Since incarcerated females represent a smaller portion of the population, women, who face different challenges than their male counterparts, often receive less opportunity for programming, especially within the jail setting. Parenting, Prison & Pups (PPP), a program which weaves together an evidence-based parenting curriculum, integrated with the use of Animal-Assisted Therapy (AAT), serves as a model for how to implement innovative programming within the jail setting at both the federal and county level for female prisoners. This paper outlines strategies to employ and discusses challenges that arise during program creation, implementation, and evaluation, which all require consideration prior to starting a new jail-based program. Despite a multitude of challenges, well-developed strategies can advance program goals and outcomes.

Author Bio

Dr. Kimberly Collica-Cox is an Associate Professor in the Criminal Justice and Security Department with PACE University. Prior to teaching, Dr. Collica worked for a women's correctional facility in NYS coordinating an HIV prison-based peer education program and for a NY jail supervising their jail-based transitional services unit. She trains professionals in HIV- related issues in the NYS Metropolitan area and is a certified ACA (American Correctional Association) and PREA (Prison Rape Elimination Act) Auditor. Her research has focused on female inmates, rehabilitation, reintegration issues, prison-based programming and female correctional executives.

Dr. Gennifer Furst is a Professor in the Sociology Department at William Paterson University of New Jersey. Dr. Furst’s research interests focus on issues of punishment and incarceration. She published the first national survey and book about animal programs in prisons in the United States. Additionally, her research interests include criminal justice policy, program evaluation, race and the administration of justice, the death penalty, and the relationship between drugs and crime. Prior to teaching Dr. Furst worked at one of the country’s three independent prison monitoring agencies, The Correctional Association of New York.

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.



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