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Private prison to launch guide dog training program for inmates

June 28th, 2008, 03:00 PM
HAMADA, Shimane -- Prison inmates are to help train guide dogs as part of their rehabilitation at a new private prison opening here this fall.

Under the scheme, inmates at the Shimane Asahi Rehabilitation Program Center in Hamada will live with three to five 2-month-old puppies for 10 months, in an attempt to nurture their caring instincts. Prisoners will care for the dogs 24 hours a day, and will be responsible for feeding, walking and discipline.

The program is also aimed at redressing the dearth of guide dogs in Japan. There are currently only about 1,000 guide dogs nationwide, and over 7,800 visually impaired people waiting to receive one.

The center is the nation's fourth prison funded by a private finance initiative. The Justice Ministry has commissioned the construction and operation of the prison to a group of private entities, including general contractor Obayashi Corp. and Sohgo Security Service Co. The facility, which opens in October, will accommodate about 2,000 inmates.

June 28th, 2008, 05:52 PM
I've seen this done here as well. I think it's a good idea. It helps the dogs become socialized and trained so they can be adopted, and it gives the prisoners a living being to take care of and nurture. It hopefully shows them how to be more caring. What I've heard about it here it has been a really great thing.