Radio Report: House unanimously approves Dye’s bill to establish a wild horse inmate program in Connell


The state House of Representatives gave unanimous approval Monday to a bill that would have prison inmates train wild horses. John Sattgast reports from the state Capitol.

 Radio Report Transcript

SATTGAST: The program under House Bill 1543 is patterned after the Arizona Department of Corrections Wild Horse and Burro Training and Adoption Program at a prison in Florence, Arizona. Bill sponsor, Representative Mary Dye, toured those facilities in the fall of 2019.

DYE: “It’s a win-win. It helps manage the wild horse population and keep their ranges healthy and well. It also provides inmates an opportunity to learn the skills within the context of the gentling of a wild animal.”

SATTGAST: The Washington program would be based at the Coyote Ridge Correctional Center in Connell, along with a farrier training program. In other states, Dye says the recidivism rate is low for inmates who have completed the program and served their time.

DYE: “It creates an opportunity for people to redeem their lives and to redeem the time they’ve spent.”

SATTGAST: The bill now heads to the Senate for further consideration.

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