The Minister for Justice Helen McEntee is visiting Castlerea Prison today to officially launch new equine centre, and the Horses for Hope programme.

The initiative has been running for several months, with prisoners nearing the end of their sentence taking part in courses over a number of weeks, where they can learn how to professionally care for horses.

The programme is aimed at helping to reduce the risk of reoffending among prisoners.

 Governor of Castlerea Prison Anthony Shally says the Horses for Hope programme is providing prisoners with an opportunity to leave prison with a skill and a work ethic that will allow them to re-enter society as positive contributors.

He says if we can break the cycle of re-offending and give someone an opportunity or skill that will help them to get employment, that sense of purpose or skill can take them away from a path of crime.



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