Dog News, Rehabilitation

College students see rehabilitation in action

Incarcerated dog trainer speaking to students touring a prison.
Paws 4 Life participants discuss the program with criminal justice students touring CMF.

Criminal Justice students tour Paws 4 Life program

The California Medical Facility (CMF) Paws 4 Life rehabilitation program took aim at educating criminal justice students.

Students from Sonoma State University’s Criminal Justice Program visited the CMF rehabilitation program in early December. The goal was to offer insight into rehabilitation in today’s CDCR and what it can become moving forward.

“Paws 4 Life transforms the lives of animals and people through innovative canine-centered programs providing purpose, support, and opportunity. As part of our mission, rehabilitation is at the forefront of what we do. Paws 4 Life actively looks for ways we can raise awareness of the work we do as an organization in partnership with CDCR,” said Chief Operating Officer Jon Grobman. “Getting the future leaders to better understand our carceral system, as well as the opportunities individuals have to change their lives, will allow them to make educated decisions in whichever field of criminal justice they enter. For me, bringing in students to witness the power of positive programming helps to remind us all that despite being incarcerated, our participants should know and feel their inherent worth.”

Students said seeing the program changed their views of rehabilitation in prisons.

“This tour has been very impactful on my outlook of prison and inmates in prison. I came here today not knowing what to expect. After speaking with the guys in the program, my eyes have been opened,” said Sonoma State University student Sophia Martins. “I can see everyone has a choice to make and can change their lives around if they really want to. It was really cool getting to talk with the guys one on one.”

Submitted by Lt. F. Figueira

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