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Thursday, May 5, 2016

Second Chances horse farm open house set May 24 at PCF

Friday, May 17, 2013

Courtesy photo Horses at Second Chances Farm operated by Putnamville Correctional Facility. The farm pairs retired horses with PCF offenders in hopes of helping offenders learn valuable skills that they can take with them when released.
PUTNAMVILLE -- An open house at Second Chances Farm operated by the Putnamville Correctional Facility (PCF) is scheduled for Friday, May 24.

The Indiana Department of Correction and the Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation (TRF) -- the largest organization in the world dedicated to the rescue, retirement and adoption of thoroughbred racehorses -- invite the public to attend the open house at 1946 W. U.S. 40.

The farm will be open from 2-5 p.m. with a brief formal program at 3:30 p.m.

"We're proud of the program at Putnamville and want to give the community a chance to learn about what we do and why this program is so important," explained Lisa Craig, TRF annual fund director who is coordinating the event.

"Human and equine lives alike are literally changed every single day at this farm," she stressed.

Putnamville Superintendent Stanley Knight is equally enthused by the program and the partnership that created it.

"The partnership between TRF and Putnamville has had a positive impact on the lives of offenders and staff, and significantly improved the quality of life for the thoroughbreds," Knight noted.

"It's one of the most community-oriented programs that the department has undertaken," he added. "The program affords offenders an opportunity to learn marketable job skills while honing interpersonal skills that will enable them to successfully reintegrate into the community."

The 100-acre farm is currently home to 30 former racehorses that receive supervised care from PCF offenders participating in a vocational training program in equine care and stable management.

After their release, graduates of the Second Chances program can use their new technical and life skills to acquire jobs and become productive members of society.

The program also saves the state and taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars annually because program graduates are 50 percent less likely to re-offend and end up back in prison, PCF officials note.

The May 24 open house will include a meet-and-greet with the horses, farm tours and a brief formal program. Current students will be available to talk about their own experiences.

The PCF Culinary Program will provide light refreshments.

Admission is free but an RSVP is requested. Persons may visit www.trfinc.org for details and directions.

Founded in 1983, TRF is the oldest and largest organization in the world dedicated to saving thoroughbred horses no longer able to compete on the racetrack from possible neglect, abuse and slaughter.

Its pioneering correctional facility-based vocational training program has provided supervised care to more than 4,000 rescued thoroughbreds while giving incarcerated men and women tangible job skills and emotional healing. The current nationwide TRF herds number more than 950, all of which are available for adoption, fostering or sponsorship.

For more information, persons may visit www.trfinc.org.

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