The National reference center for animal-assisted intervention (NRC AAI) has been invited by the A&P Sommer Foundation to give a presentation during the Colloquium “Justice et médiation animale: L’animal, nouvelle aide à la réinsertion” that will take place on November 30, 2015 at the Lyon School of Law (Faculté de Droit de Lyon). This one-day event has the aim of raising Human Animal Interaction awareness among legal, health, and social welfare professionals, and it will feature testimony on dealing with people who have been placed under control of the legal system.

The NRC AAI will present the research project “The rehabilitation of alcohol/drug addict inmates: the contribution of dog assisted therapy”, a pilot study on the effects of a dog-assisted program (DAP) for inmates with alcohol and drug addictions in an Italian prison. This project is funded by the Veneto Region.

The A&P Sommer Foundation has always provided support for institutions for children, teenagers, and young adults under court jurisdiction. In the past few years, prisons have also sought out Foundation support. Ever since its 2003 call for proposals, the A&P Sommer Foundation has been funding initiatives where pets and domesticated animals play a role in social, therapeutic, and educational programs. The Foundation has thus contributed to French child welfare and social service institutions including Lieux de Vie et d’Accueil (LVA), Maisons d’Enfants à Caractère Social (MECS), and others.

The institutions all welcome children, teenagers, or young adults placed by state agencies such as the PJJ or the ASE (Protection Judiciaire de la Jeunesse & l’Aide Sociale à l’Enfance). In recent years, the Foundation has received numerous requests for funding from correctional institutions running animal-assisted programs for people carrying out either short or long-term sentences. As a result, 10% of the prisons offering human-animal interaction programs benefit from support from the A&P Sommer Foundation.

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