We’ve posted before about dog-training programs in prisons (see here and here), where inmates are rewarded for good behavior with a chance to interact with a dog. For many of these inmates, their relationship with the dog is a vital connection to the outside world. For the dogs in Arkansas’s Paws in Prison program, it’s a second chance at finding a forever home.
Paws in Prison is made possible through ADC’s partnership with animal shelters and advocate groups around the state. Selected inmates have the opportunity to become trainers of rescue dogs in the program. Inmates work with the dogs teaching them basic obedience skills and properly socializing the animals, making them more adoptable. Last year in Arkansas, hundreds of homeless dogs were euthanized.
The benefits of this program are three-fold. The Paws in Prison program will reduce the number of animals who perish by better preparing them to be loving, obedient and adoptable pets. The program will give inmates the skills necessary to support successful rehabilitation and reentry – and ultimately improve public safety. At the same time, this is an opportunity for the inmates to do something positive for the communities of Arkansas. In states where similar programs operate, they have had a profound impact on inmates and staff, thus improving security and the quality of life inside the institutions.
This sounds like the definition of a win-win proposition to me.