USA: Puppies Behind Bars by Radhika Chalasani

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BEACON, NEW YORK:  Ed (R) walks Midas around the courtyard to teach him not to respond to distractions as balls are thrown around during a training class for the Puppies Behind Bars (PPB) program at Fishkill Correctional Facility. The  program prepares puppies to be service dogs and consists of one day of class a week for obedience training, grooming, basic care of the dogs. The dogs spend 18-20 months in the program working with the prisoners. ..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.