posted on Apr, 8 2009 @ 01:17 AM
My other half and I were watching Animal Planet tonight, and the show Cell Dogs came on. This is a very interesting program that has been started in
prisons through the US. The initial program was started in a very violent prison in Nevada. The warden wanted to shake things up to try to settle
the inmates down, so he went to the Humane Society.
After a rigorous screening program a group of 8 inmates was selected to handle the dogs. They were given 8 unadoptable dogs to care for and train.
Several of the inmates are in for life, one was minutes away from death on Death Row when his sentence was commuted.
Here's the interesting part of this program. Since the start, violence in the prison is down over 40%. One of the lead guards said that since the
program started they haven't broken up a single fight. It's allowed friendships between guards and inmates, and broken down barriers within the
inmate population. The guards can walk the yard, and not be afraid anymore.
After a period of a few weeks, up to a year, the dogs get retrained and adjusted to people, at which time they are adopted out to new homes. The
inmates then get a new dog to start over with.
For the inmates, this is the first time that some of them have ever felt unconditional love from anything. For the dogs, the inmates have the time to
truly take care of them and show them that not all people are mean, and that not every one will hurt them.
The inmates even have a webpage with the dogs on them, and keep detailed records of everything that happens with the dogs.
Personally I think this is a wonderful idea, and it really helps the inmates to change their way of thinking. Even the inmates that aren't caring
for the dogs have changed their attitudes since the dogs came into the prison.