Nature Behind Bars: Animal Class Helps Prisoners Find Compassion

Professor Marc Bekoff teaches a popular animal behavior course at the Boulder County Jail, which has helped some inmates bond with the natural world—and ultimately reconnect to society.

Next Friday at 8:30 a.m., if you happen to be an inmate at the Boulder County Jail in Colorado, consider going to the animal behavior class taught by Marc Bekoff. But be prepared to stand, because seats fill up quickly. It turns out that guys in prison love learning about animals, and sometimes it changes their lives.

Bekoff, professor emeritus of ecology and evolutionary biology at the University of Colorado, has been teaching "Animal Behavior and Conservation" to male prisoners for over a decade (that's more than 600 classes). It's part of Jane Goodall's global Roots & Shoots Program, and has been a model for similar projects at other jails. (Also see "5 Unconventional Ways to Get

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