USA: Puppies Behind Bars by Radhika Chalasani

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BOBBY AND BERTHA,  6-MONTH-OLD LABRADOR --  Bobby is in prison for felony murder and sentenced to 17 1/2 years to life. He's served 22 years so far and has been denied parole three times due to the nature of his crime.  BOBBY:  "Prison is by definition a cold, hard, cynical, abhorant place. There is not much one can do in here that is positive in the way that raising and training these dogs is. I am able to balance the proverbial karmic scales by doing this. I give this puppy 101% of my attention and always place her needs before mine. I will take the lessons learned and apply them to my relationships with people." ..The Puppies Behind Bars (PPB) Program works with prison inmates in New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut to train service dogs, including ones who help injured soldiers. The puppies arrive at 8 weeks-old and remain at the prisons, mostly working with one inmate, for 20 months. Fishkill Correctional Facility is a medium security prison in New York with 22 men in the puppy program. The emotional element of caring for the puppies breaks down the hard façade that most prisoners create for themselves to survive prison life.  Prisoners learn responsibility and pride in helping others. The program often gives them a new outlook on their crimes, their time in prison, and goals when they are released.