Hawaii inmates in Arizona work towards ‘rehabilitation’ for themselves — and dogs they train
HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Retired greyhounds have been turned into adoptable pets because of Hawaii inmates at Saguaro Correctional Center.
Currently, 14 inmates at the Arizona prison are paired with the dogs that have been deemed unadoptable.
The goal for both: Rehabilitation.
The animals face a sentence of their own after years on the race track.
“They come in knowing nothing but chasing the rabbit,” said David Parker, who is serving a life sentence with the possibility of parole for murder.
Parker has fostered 39 greyhounds and is currently training Elsa.
The dogs live with the inmate who trains them to be pets, teaching their name and even proper socialization.
Parker said training the dogs for 20 years has changed him. “I’m now responsible for another living being,” he admitted.
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Marwan Jackson who has served 17 years for manslaughter is training Johnny.
“It teaches you patience,” he said. “It teaches you so many different things.”
Jackson could be released in a few years and said he hopes to find a job with the skills he’s acquired training 22 dogs from behind bars.
Racing Home Greyhound Adoption partners with the corrections department to run the program.
Jody Brown said an inmate who was released went on to be a dog groomer and masseuse, after training greyhounds.
Brown said not one of the hundreds of dogs trained by inmates, has been returned by an adopting family because of behavior.
“We’ve taken dogs straight off the track,” said Brown. “They’re not housebroken, they know nothing about being inside.”
“And these guys have worked with every single one of them and made every one of them a success.”
The program is one of many offered to Hawaii inmates in the Arizona prison, but not offered at home.
The Department of Public Safety said they’d consider adding it, if a canine group offers a partnership.
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