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The Benefits Of Prison Animal Training Programs

3661 words - 15 pages

A litter of puppies gets dropped off down a dirt road, they soon will go to an animal shelter, and eventually, prison. More than 15 million animals face possible death in shelters and are being rescued by a surprising group of people: prisoners (Rhoades). Animals in shelters die every day because of limited amount of space, injuries, and behavior problems that cause them not to be adopted. They shouldn’t have to suffer from lack of attention since they have done nothing wrong. Instead, the animals could be sent to prisons for training by inmates, which would increase the animal’s chances of being adopted. These programs would also help the prisoners by improving their behavior and the community by providing them with service dogs as well as saving tax payers money. The purpose of this paper is to show that animal programs in prisons would benefit many people, help the prisoners’ not return to a life of crime, and provide service dogs to those who truly need them but cannot afford them.
The first point, of how bringing animals into prisons is helpful, is that it actually has many benefits for the animals, inmates, and the community. The animals get a second chance at life by being sent to prisons for recovery or training. The animals also help the prisoners learn responsibility and how to care for something. Prison faculty say inmates’ attitudes undergo
positive changes since animal programs were introduced (Puppies). With all the love and attention the animals receive, they are likely to be adopted quicker because of improved behavior (Flynn). The animal programs also help the community by providing service dogs for law enforcement and people with disabilities, and save tax payers, who previously have been paying two billion dollars a year for animal shelter costs, money by having inmates work with these animals for free (Animal Overpopulation).
The first canine training program was in the 1980s. It was created by a Dominican nun named Sister Pauline Quinn in Washington State. She understood the therapeutic effect of dogs based on her own experience with such dogs when she was hospitalized (Wenner). She had high hopes that these dog training programs would also positively affect inmates in prisons. When she first launched a prison program in 1981 she said, “The reason I started the program was to help the inmates become other-centered. In the prison system they don’t have the opportunity to do things that will help other people. But in helping others our lives change and we can see a different perspective on life” (Mistretta). Her idea created the most effective program in prison for getting inmates on the right path (Lynch).
Not just any inmate can participate in prison animal training programs. The inmates are screened by prison faculty, must have a clean disciplinary record for at least one year, and be considered responsible by prison officials (Puppies). The second point, of how bringing animals into prisons is helpful, is that the...

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