Two More Horses to Call Second Chances Home
December 5, 2011 - Among the many great Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services (DPSCS) restorative justice programs under Public Safety Works allowing inmates to learn skills and pay society back at the same time, few are quite as unique as the horse farm located at Central Maryland Correctional Facility (CMCF) in Sykesville.
Two Rivers and Prince Tutta were more than a little nervous when their handlers eased them out of the trailer. But it didn’t take long for these beautiful nine- and ten-year old geldings to realize that this lovely rolling acreage would be just fine for their new home.
The two former racehorses now live at Second Chances Farm, the groundbreaking DPSCS facility tended by inmates, one of only eight such prison horse farms in the entire nation. Now in its fourth year, the aptly-named Second Chances gives just that to both horse and man. Three inmates are currently in the program, learning equine care and other “soft skills” requiring genuine compassion and patience. But three more will soon be added, now that the farm has a total of six horses.
In partnership with the Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation (TRF), Second Chances takes onetime racehorses that might be facing a very uncertain future but for the caring hands of inmates on this beautiful
Carroll County pastureland. Thanks to donations to TRF from private citizens and the ASPCA, the farm recently built a second run-in shelter and are close to completing a third. The 12-by-32 foot structures are mostly built by the inmates themselves, with some supervision from DOC maintenance officers.
DPSCS Secretary Gary Maynard, who brought the unique horse program to Maryland, is one of the nation’s leading advocates for significantly increasing the number and scope of meaningful restorative justice projects that allow inmates to pay society back. No better such program exists than on the farm at the CMCF, where horse and man are being given second chances.
Welcome home, Two Rivers and Prince Tutta!