A story I photographed on a great program called Puppies Behind Bars was published today on Time.com. As a photojournalist I’m always excited to see programs that really succeed in changing people’s lives for the better so I’m very happy to see this story get some attention and wanted to share it with you. Many of the dogs are helping injured soldiers back from Afghanistan and Iraq through the Dog Tags project. If you’re interested in learning more about this you can take a look at the story on Oprah.com.
The Puppies Behind Bars (PPB) Program works with prison inmates in New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut to train service dogs, including ones who help injured soldiers. The puppies arrive at 8 weeks-old and remain at the prisons, mostly working with one inmate, for 20 months. Fishkill Correctional Facility is a medium security prison in New York with 22 men in the puppy program. The emotional element of caring for the puppies breaks down the hard façade that most prisoners create for themselves to survive prison life. Prisoners learn responsibility and pride in helping others. The program often gives them a new outlook on their crimes, their time in prison, and goals when they are released.