Prison pups make a difference


Three special inmates are out on parole tonight their good behaviour will help change the lives of many.

Queensland’s Borallon Correctional Centre is the first Australian jail to adopt “The Pups in Prison” Program.

Clare Hunter reports.

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After 13 months of training, these puppies have been given their P-plates.

The Pups in Prison program is a joint venture between the Borallon Correctional Centre and Assistance Dogs Australia.

Inmates have been given the responsibility of training the Labradors to assist people with special needs helping them with day to day tasks.

Richard Lord, Assistance Dogs Australia: “Well to have one of these assistance dogs allows you to get out on your own without having to take mum or dad or a carer so it’s a whole new world of freedom and independence.”

In the future, the dogs will not only not help their carers physically but also emotionally and socially.

These pups will offer a very important service for the people they serve, but the role they play here, helping the inmates rehabilitate, is something very special indeed.

Jaunita Zuna, Pups in Prison Coordinator: “The offenders have gained so much through this program where like the offender said today, they have taken from the community and now we have given them the opportunity to give something positive back.”

While doing time, the inmates in this maximum security prison share a special bond with the dogs, learning empathy, compassion and patience, which can be forgotten emotions behind the barbed wire.

Inmate: “They’s make you happy, they’ll make you sad, they’ll make you frustrated – all these emotions sort of all comes day by day as you are training these pups.”

Having done their time here, these labs are on road trip to Sydney for advanced training, before being placed with a person in need of their invaluable help.

Clare Hunter, QUT News.