On December 23, 1998 NCCI and NEADS entered into the partnership to establish this mutually beneficial program. Under directon of staff, inmates raise future service dogs for NEADS, teaching the dogs basic obedience and other skills needed to prepare them for their future careers as "service dogs" assisting the physically disabled. Following their training with the inmates, the dogs will learn advanced skills, such as retrieving dropped articles or the portable telephone, turning light switches on and off and opening doors, at the NEADS dog training Campus in Princeton, Massachusetts.
"Community reparation is one of the most important objects of the
Department of Corrections and we want to make sure that the inmates are
giving something back to the communities that they once violated," said the
Department of Corrections Commissioner Michael Maloney. "This innovative
program is the latest of our reparation efforts, and allows inmates to
contribute to society without compromising public safety or security in our
The Prison PUP Partnership program was developed at North Central
Correctional Institution with the influence of Sister Pauline Quinn op, to
give inmates the opportunity to give back to the community plus provide the
help needed to run these special programs.
According to NEADS, this innovative program expedites the training process
and therefore enables service dogs to be placed with clients at a much
faster rate. The puppy raisers/trainers are minimum security inmates who
are willing and able to commit approximately eighteen months to the care
and training of these special dogs. The inmate must meet specific criteria
regarding compliance with educational work and all substance abuse
programing recommendations. In addition, these inmates must possess an
overall positive institutional record and a positive attitude.
NCCI was the first Massachusetts Department of Correction facility to
incorporate this program with hopes that it will expand to other facilities.
NEADS is one of the oldest and largest programs of its kind; was the first
to use facility-based training to develop a strong working relationship
between the student and his dog. Since 1979, NEADS has trained over 600
working dogs for service across the United States.
NEADS is a non profit organization established to provide Hearing and
Service Dogs for people who are deaf or who use wheelchairs. These
Assistance Dogs become an extension of their owners and bring security,
freedom, independence and relief from social isolation to their human
Return to the Prison Pet Partnership Program page.
Prisoners Training Dogs for the Disabled
NEADS Prison PUP Partnership News Articles