Prisoners share their cells with a dog and it has a magical effectBy Michiel De Gooijer
Oct. 4 2019, Updated 10:18 a.m. ET
BETTER MAN THANKS TO A DOG
Dogs are known as one of people's best friends. I even know people who might love dogs more than they do fellow humans...
Dogs are very loyal to their owners, have no prejudices and unconditionally love their caregiver. Dogs can also have a magical effect on their owners. They can even serve as sort of a life line, helping people in difficult situations to bounce back.
DOGS BEHIND BARS
In the US the Canine Cell Mates foundation runs a program with the Fulton County Jail in Atlanta where shelter dogs are cared for and trained by inmates for a period of two months.
The dogs mean the world to their temporary owners. The benefits to the inmate handlers are many, including: learning responsibility by caring for a living being, accountability in working towards a goal, experiencing the joy of unconditional love, gaining confidence in working toward a positive outcome and skills that will allow them to become law abiding, productive members of society.
At the same time, the chances that these well trained dogs can find a home, has increased considerably.
50% LESS VIOLENCE
The incidence of violent outbursts in prison and jail facilities where jail dog programs operate has shown a dramatic decrease, sometimes as much as 50%. Recidivism rates have also shown drastic improvements.
PITBULL TURNS DRUG ADDICT INTO TOP ARTIST
John Dolan from London used to either sleep in the streets or in prison. But since he has been taken care of the pitbull George the dog his life has been completely transformed.
When John got George the dog, he felt responsible for taking care of him. And in order to continue providing care to George, he had to stay out of prison.
In his early day John was a talented draftsman; a gift he neglected for tens of years. But thanks to George he decided to go back to the streets, making and selling his art.
GIVING RESPONSIBILITY INSTEAD OF TAKING IT AWAY
These examples show perfectly how a sense of responsibility for dogs can turn people's lives 180 degrees. Instead of taking away responsibility, it argues in favour of giving responsibility instead as an effective tool to create positive change.