Healing Inmates' Hearts and Spirits with Man's Best Friend
Osborne, Shannon J., Bair, Renee, Corrections Today
Last year, the Corrections Corporation of America's Kit Carson Correctional Center in Burlington, Colo., established a dog-training program using inmate dog handlers to provide trained canines to community agencies serving those in need, such as handicapped individuals and terminally ill patients. The Service Dog Training Program was implemented at KCCC on March 1, 2002, and by the beginning of this year, nine dogs and 20 inmate handlers were participating in the program. In conjunction with the CARES--Canine Assistance, Rehabilitation, Education and Services--program, the training program at KCCC has not only added jobs for inmates, but also provided therapeutic benefits by healing inmates' hearts and spirits, using man's oldest companion.
CCA programs seek to rehabilitate individuals by providing access to better educational and vocational skills, assistance in fighting addictions and training in basic life skills to ease inmates' transition back into society. KCCC is a level-3, medium-security facility with 768 inmates.
CARES Inc. is a nonprofit local organization established in spring 1994 in Concordia, Kan., with a mission to use trained dogs to provide services to the elderly and disabled children and adults that allow them to live as independently as possible. The CARES program offers a variety of services, including search and rescue dog training.
When the CARES program began receiving requests for trained dogs more quickly than it could fill them, KCCC staff, who were familiar with similar programs in other states, considered offering their assistance. So in response to a community need for handlers to train the canines, management decided to introduce the CARES program into the facility and name it the KCCC Service Dog Training Program.
The CARES organization receives puppies and/or adult …
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Publication information: Article title: Healing Inmates' Hearts and Spirits with Man's Best Friend. Contributors: Osborne, Shannon J. - Author, Bair, Renee - Author. Magazine title: Corrections Today. Volume: 65. Issue: 2 Publication date: April 2003. Page number: 122+. © 2009 American Correctional Association, Inc. COPYRIGHT 2003 Gale Group.
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