GREENE COUNTY, Pa. - Inmates at State Correctional Institution Greene, a state maximum-security prison in Greene County, are getting a chance to give back to the community by being dog trainers.
Five Labrador Retrievers from Canine Partners for Life are being trained by a group of over a dozen inmates to become service dogs.
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“The guys get a great experience. They get to learn to take care of something. They get to learn to do something that is bigger than themselves,” said Tina Staley, a prison counselor and program coordinator.
The inmates volunteer, go through a screening process, then train the dogs for a year.
During their training, the dogs are taught basic commands that make them sit down, heel, or lie down.
“I may have made a mistake or two, but I actually can do something good,” said Paul, one of the inmates who is also a dog trainer.
Inmates and the dogs are together around the clock, which Staley said makes the men more mature and responsible. She also said that it restores their humanity because they are making a positive impact beyond the prison.
“We’re doing something for someone else, that’s not the norm in prison,” Paul said.
CLICK HERE to learn more about Canine Partners for Life.