Lateral thinking is when you combine second chances in new places.
Programs of having inmates at prisons to train puppies and dogs to increase their chances of finding a forever home are not new but still brilliant. The unconditional love provided by the animals for the humans has far reaching and deep reverberations, giving the inmates a connection and a reconnection point that can make the dimmest and darkest days more bearable and even enjoyable. The well-trained dogs also get a second chance; a home, rather than an end.
What happens when you add an energy healing modality to the program?
This is what is happening in Florida, at the Alaqua Animal Refuge. This no-kill organization has rescued countless dogs from neglect and abuse conditions, which can make some animals more difficult to rehome. This is where their Unconditional Love Program comes in. The chosen dogs spend 10 to 12 weeks at Walton Correctional Institution, where the inmates take care of them 24/7 and learn obedience skills from the prison trainer and Alaqua staff. As part of the program, these men also learn Jin Shin Jyutsu, an ancient art and hands-on practice that harmonizes mind, body, and spirit. Some of what happens is tension in the body is released, the correct energetic flow pattern is restored, and the body is supported in its natural healing processes.
Jin Shin Jyutsu not only deepens the bond between man and beast but also benefits the inmates who demonstrate greater empathy, less depression, improved communication, and fewer disciplinary issues.
It is thanks to Adele Leas, a long-time Jin Shin Jyutsu practitioner, teacher of Jin Shin Jyutsu for animals, and the author of Jin Shin Jyutsu for Your Animal Companion, that the Unconditional Love Program benefits from this easy-to-learn art of healing. Though it is a long-life study, the basics of Jin Shin Jyutsu can be learned quickly and applied immediately with great benefit. Adele has been a tremendous supporter and advocate of bringing JSJ to those animals in need, such as the victims of Hurricane Katrina and some of the surviving dogs from the Michael Vick case. Sharing Jin Shin Jyutsu with both human and animal is a passion of Adele’s that takes her teaching all around the world.
The program has done a lot for me, teaching me compassion and responsibility. It’s helped me open up and be something productive.
C. Justice, inmate at Walton Correctional Institution.
Everyone involved with this program has everything to be proud of. The inmates work hard to complete the program, which gives them job skills for when they re-enter their communities, with Jin Shin Jyutsu a continuing support. Many of the dogs find forever homes as family pets even before graduation and some go onto advanced training to become therapy dogs in hospitals, nursing homes, and special needs centres or as companion dogs for veteran associations.
The Unconditional Love Program was founded in 2011 and is funded by public donation.