Prison Training Programs Give Dogs and Inmates New Purpose

The prison world may not immediately seem to fit with the world of dog training. The emotions and preconceptions associated with each are often quite opposite. Yet different non-profits and penitentiaries across the United States are partnering to create an opportunity that will benefit everyone lucky enough to be involved.

And it’s not a new concept. In fact, the idea was first implemented in 1981 by Sister Pauline Quinn. Sister Pauline was a volunteer dog training herself. Knowing firsthand the transformative affects the positive experience had had in her own life inspired her to involve others. Since that first endeavor in 1981, the sister travelled all around the country implementing dog training programs in interested correctional facilities.

Prison Dog Program, Bridges And Pathways of Courage

Each program is different. Some focus on rehabilitating abused animals, while others train service dogs. Many of these dogs go on to assist people with autism and seizures, provide alerts for diabetes, and act as mobility and hearing dogs. Others have partnered with organizations that bring dogs and veterans together to help them cope with the physical, emotional, and mental scars of war. But each of these programs helps prepare a dog for their future.

The positive impact the prison dog programs have had on the inmates has also come to light. One example of the impact such programs can have on the life of inmates is evident at the medium-security Enfield Correctional Institution in Connecticut. Through a partnership with America’s VetDogs, the inmates help to train service dogs that go on to support military veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder. Inmates who participate in the program have a recidivism rate below 25%; a dramatic decrease from the overall prison average of 85%.

Any pet owner knows that the love of their animal can change their life in innumerable and joyful ways. And for those who have service animals, they know the dramatic ways these animals can improve their quality of life. However, most of these animals rely on volunteers for their training. Those lucky enough to be paid for their efforts make an average of less than $11.00 per hour. This is just one more way that the prison dog program is making a positive impact.

The prison dog program not only gives inmates the opportunity for personal growth through their training efforts, but it gives them hope knowing that those efforts will go on to change a person’s life.

Next Article
  • New Kindness Curriculum is Making Waves in University of Wisconsin Study

    The University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Center for Healthy Minds has been busy this year. They’ve added one more project to the many studies they contribute to, and this one is aimed at teaching kindness to preschoolers. Called the “kindness curriculum,” the free program had children engaging in two 20-minute sessions...

    Read More
  • Eye-Witness Recounts Story of Incredible Whale Rescue

    Whale watching is a favorite pastime and a tourist attraction along nearly every coast in the world. But for enthusiasts traveling to the West Coast of the USA, the Olympic Peninsula in Washington State is a treasure trove for those looking to catch a glimpse some of the ocean’s most majestic creatures. Orcas, humpback whales,...

    Read More
  • Bus Driver Pauses Route to Help Stranded Schoolgirl Find Her Way

    Morning commutes can be drag. Whether you drive your own car, take the subway, or hop on a bus, the frequent delays and traffic jams can quickly turn a routine journey into a stop-and-go nightmare. Public transit workers are often put under incredible pressure to keep their routes on schedule to avoid disgruntled passengers. But...

    Read More
  • The Teen that’s Fighting Cyber Bullies One Hashtag at a Time

    Chase Marvil isn’t your typical millennial college student. While the sophomore at Delaware Technical Institute is a heavy consumer of social media, he’s also a force for positive change in the digital space. While he was still in high school, Chase set out to change the way that people...

    Read More
  • How One Parkour Athlete Changed the Lives of Street Kids in Manila

    Raven Cruz is serious about parkour. After just four short years of practicing the sport, he has already become a teacher at the Ninja Parkour Academy in Manila, Philippines and been recognized as a promising athlete in the parkour world. But now he’s earning recognition for another reason. One day, when Raven was training in...

    Read More
  • A Summer Camp That is Truly for Everyone

    Camp is one of the best parts of summer. There are summer camps that focus on everything from sports to theater to science and much more where kids can spend their days following their interests and making memories. But many times, kids with special needs are unable to attend summer camps because of their disabilities...

    Read More