Many organizations utilize prison programs that allow both the dogs and the inmates to have unique, specialized training opportunities.
What are Prison Programs?
Multiple service dog organizations, such as Canine Companions for Independence and Americas VetDogs, partner with prisons and allow inmates to be involved in the raising and training process
Inmate handlers are selected through an interview and application process with very specific requirements
Why use Prison Programs?
Prison programs are at a unique advantage because they allow inmates to monitor and train the dogs 24/7
They have exceptional experience in addressing a wide array of behavioral challenges
They provide incredible structure for the dogs and can help them work through challenging issues
The inmates involved in these programs gain valuable knowledge on how to train dogs, lowers the rate of recidivism and gives them an increased sense of purpose
The pups and their prison handlers share a special bond, and the unconditional love the dogs show their handlers has a positive effect on them both
What about Real-World Experiences?
Dogs in the prison program often have weekend homes where volunteers take them into their homes, socialize them in public settings, and reinforce their skills in different environments
Many programs also send dogs on extended stays with volunteers outside of the prison to reinforce and maintain the skills they learn while in the prison