Maryland Prison Joins Service Dog Training Program
Updated: Thursday, April 17 2014, 06:19 PM EDT
A correctional training center in Hagerstown has become the fourth Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services (DPSCS) prison to join a program which involves inmates in the training of service dogs for wounded veterans.
"Inmates who are honorably discharged veterans are always given preference to become raisers, but all candidates must have acceptable behavioral records while they have been incarcerated and first must pass a screening of the prison intelligence department," VetDogs.org explained online.
Two black Labradors, Spot and Junior, and one yellow Labrador named Skipper arrived at the prison several weeks ago and on Wednesday the dogs and their handlers were welcomed by America's VetDogs officials, the DPSCS Secretary, and outside veterans groups from the Hagerstown area.
"We're all about changing people who want to change, allowing inmates to pay society back, and giving inmates skills and programs that help them not come back to prison," DPSCS Secretary Gregg Hershberger said.
The nearby Maryland Correctional Institution-Hagerstown was the first prison to partner with America's Vet Dogs two years ago.