Skip to main content

Servicing the Soul

March 13, 2024

By Lukas D’Ambrosio Communications Office

(Lukas D'Ambrosio, Communications Office)

The Mobility Service Dog Training Program pairs incarcerated individuals with young dogs, creating a unique bond that goes beyond prison walls. Incarcerated individuals facilitate consistent training to transform these pups into skilled service dogs. The program not only equips these dogs with essential mobility assistance skills but also provides incarcerated individuals with an opportunity to better their community from behind the walls of prison.

Within the prison's confines, a transformative connection forms between the incarcerated individuals and their furry companions. The program also allows individuals a chance to connect with staff and other individuals on a deeper level. The structured environment allows for consistent training, creating disciplined service dogs capable of assisting people with various needs. As the incarcerated individuals learn about responsibility, patience, and empathy, the program offers a path toward rehabilitation and personal growth. These dogs, once fully trained, graduate to join individuals in need, enhancing their quality of life and fostering a sense of independence.

“These types of programs are the things that make the most difference,” said Kyle, an incarcerated individual and dog trainer at Monroe Correctional Complex (MCC). “These programs are what prison should really be about because these are the things that teach responsibility and positive social interaction. They crumble the anti-social norms that prison can cultivate and promotes positive interaction between staff and incarcerated.”

Beyond the concrete walls of MCC, the impact of this initiative radiates. The program not only produces highly skilled service dogs but also contributes to the rehabilitation and reintegration of incarcerated individuals into society. Through this unique collaboration, the Mobility Service Dog Training Program exemplifies the transformative power of second chances and the positive ripple effect that compassionate initiatives can create within the criminal justice system.