USA: Puppies Behind Bars by Radhika Chalasani

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BEACON, NEW YORK:  Jesse, in prison for manslaughter in the first degree, plays with Gigi while sitting on puppy gate to his cell at Fishkill Correctional Facility.  Jesse says the program has taught him a sense of responsibility and compassion. The program works with prison inmates in New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut to train service dogs, including ones who help injured soldiers or those suffering from post-traumatic stress. The puppies live with the prisoners during a 18-20 month training process. ..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.