California State Prison, Sacramento, has joined the ranks of other institutions training service dogs.
Six dogs have now entered the institution through the Prisoners Overcoming Obstacles and Creating Hope (POOCH) Service Dog Program.
POOCH is a non-profit organization with the mission of transforming lives with service dogs. Through the POOCH Program, dogs are trained inside the prison system by qualified incarcerated trainers that meet specific screening criteria.
The program is designed to meet the increasing demands for service dogs while providing an opportunity for education, rehabilitation, and community improvement for incarcerated individuals.
The trainer selection period began in June, lasting 12 weeks. After that time, a dozen CSP-Sacramento incarcerated trainers were paired to co-train six dogs. The training program takes 18 months, during which time the dogs will stay with their trainers for 24 hours per day, sleeping in the same quarters. This helps them develop a bond with their trainers.
After the dog graduates, they are placed with someone needing a service dog such as a wounded veteran or person with autism.
Learn more about various dog programs.