Measuring the Psychological Impacts of Prison-Based Dog Training Programs and In-Prison Outcomes for Inmates

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By bhadmin February 2, 2021

As interest grows in programs that improve prison inmates’ behavior and psychosocial well-being, any such interventions must be rigorously examined and their underlying mechanisms for change must be understood. This pilot study examined the use of prison-based dog training programs across Washington State Department of Corrections facilities for their impacts on inmates’ infraction rates. The study also compared levels of empathy, self-efficacy, and anxiety between program participants and nonparticipants. Findings indicated that prison dog program participants’ infraction rates improved and that participants had lower levels of anxiety than nonparticipants.

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