Since July 2022, the Avenal State Prison (ASP) Community Resource Office has partnered with Paws Estate Inc., a nonprofit rescue for strays and surrendered dogs.
The organization created a six-week dog obedience program. ASP staff and loved ones are allowed to adopt dogs after each six-week cycle. It’s a win-win situation for the employees who provide the dogs’ forever homes as well as the trainers. They learn valuable skills applicable to good careers as well as personal relationships.
With each cycle, five dogs are selected by Community Resource Office staff for 10 pre-selected Facility B trainers.
The incarcerated trainers crate-train and teach the dogs basic commands such as sit, down and stay. They also teach the dogs personalized commands suggested by adoptees.
Because of this program, 12 dogs have been placed in loving homes.
“We are so grateful ASP has allowed us to bring this program to the prison. It is helping more than you’ll ever know,” said Gilbert and Lana Brito, who run the organization.
The trainers said working with the Community Resource Office and Paws helps their rehabilitation and ability to have compassion for one another.
ASP is a reentry-focused programming hub which is geared to ensure incarcerated people are ready for the transition back into society. Dedicated employees help develop parole plans, provide assistance with developing social skills and obtaining services in local communities, and promote public support.
Learn more about being a CRM
In an episode of the CDCR Unlocked podcast, Community Resource Manager Martina Virrey shares how CRMs are vital to building community partnerships throughout California. From implementing rehabilitative programs to organizing fundraisers to recruiting volunteers, CRMs do it all.
By Darrienn Sanders, SSA, CRM Office
Submitted by Lt. James Campbell