‘They’re a lot like us’: Program pairs inmates, wild horses

ELK GROVE, Calif. (AP) — Jail inmates and wild horses are helping each other through a California program aimed at preparing both for society.

Inmates at Rio Cosumnes Correctional Center spend 40 hours a week training mustangs provided by the federal Bureau of Land Management.

Officials say the training program is one of six nationwide, but the first within a local correctional facility.

The inmates say they see a reflection of themselves in the horses. Both are learning valuable lessons and skills.

The program is auctioning off five saddle-trained horses Dec. 10 under the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department program that began in 2014.

Inmates volunteer and must be approved by a correctional panel before they are allowed to work with the horses outside the jail’s barbed-wire fences.