Putnamville Prison Inmates built and now and maintain a Horse Rescue Farm in collaboration with the Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation.
“They cut down the trees, they planed the boards, they built the barns, poured the concrete, seeded the pastures, built the fencing. They’ve done it all,” Barbara Holcomb, equine vocational instructor, says.
Holcomb runs the farm, which includes rescuing horses for the program and teaching prisoners how to care for the animals.
The farm is a joint effort of the Indiana Department of Corrections and the Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation, a non-profit that rescues ex-racehorses and helps place them for adoption. The horses at Putnamville Correctional formerly ran on Indiana racetracks, and many were severely abused.
The inmates care for thirty horses and tend to the pasture grounds in exchange for shortened sentences. And Holcomb points out shorter sentences are cheaper for taxpayers.
“One hundred and sixteen 3-month time cuts that we’ve delivered that have saved the state, the Department of Corrections, money. Because if they’re not here, we’re not paying for them,” Holcomb says.