ENFIELD -– Inside Willard-Cybulski Correctional Institution inmates rarely get a taste of the outside world.
Now, once a week, Renee Bouffard a licensed clinical social worker and Nicole Defelice a retired MP with the Army National Guard and Equine Specialist in Mental Health, bring three horses to the prison yard and put their program called Operation Warrior Horse into motion.
The program helps incarcerated veterans using the horses to heal.
“I think what this does is renew that sense of relationships and that ability that we can connect," Bouffard said.
Daniel Elliot, a Navy Vet from new London, who was sentenced to four years for arson and attempted suicide, has embraced the Operation Warrior Horse program since it began at the prison about seven weeks ago.
"Just being with them helps brighten my week,” Elliot said of the horses. “They have a way of bringing my stress levels down and they understand."
Rollin Cook, the state’s new Department of Corrections commissioner said, “anyone who has been around animals and horses understands exactly the impact they can have on our lives.”
Operation Warrior Horse is a therapeutic program which is part of Morris based Healing Hoofbeats of CT, a non-profit, which relies on fundraising to sustain their mission.
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