Prisoners find a new sense of purpose by training service dogs.
Eric Barsness is the Director of Development for Puppies Behind Bars, a program where inmates raise and train service dogs for wounded war veterans and Explosive Detection Canines (EDC) for law enforcement. This program offers inmates a new sense of purpose and gives them tasks that help prove they can be productive members of society.
Key Takeaways:[3:35] What is Puppies Behind Bars about? [6:30] How do the inmates help these puppies? [9:55] These inmates can be eligible for parole 6 months earlier if they have successfully worked in Eric’s program for 18 months. [10:15] Eric currently has 4 former-inmates working for his organization. [12:25] What happens to the dogs during the program and after? [15:05] The dogs end up fitting into two careers – Service dogs or Explosive Detection Canines (EDC). [18:15] Prison inmates, to a degree, have many of the same symptoms veterans do. [19:50] The dogs get swapped every 6 months so that they spend their time in different environments. [20:50] Have any of Eric’s dogs in this program found explosives? [23:10] Dogs are trained to help find a veteran’s car. [24:35] Puppies Behind Bars is currently in 5 facilities and is in the process of opening a 6th one. [25:00] The program was founded in 1997. [27:25] How did Eric personally get involved with Puppies Behind Bars? [32:55] Eric talks about the founder, Gloria Gilbert Stoga. [36:25] There is room for growth in this area! [41:45] Eric talks about sponsorship and how the program gets funded. [49:00] How can people get involved?
Mentioned in This Episode: