Press Release – Department Of Corrections
Christchurch Womens Prison has gained two new inmates with the arrival of two puppies which will be cared for by prisoners in a pilot scheme to teach valuable skills.
For Immediate Release 27 May 2013
Women prisoners caring for puppies
Christchurch Women’s Prison has gained two new inmates with the arrival of two puppies which will be cared for by prisoners in a pilot scheme to teach valuable skills.
The black Labrador puppies arrived last week and have settled in well. They are being cared for by two prisoners from the self-care unit, who will be monitored by Corrections dog staff in their work with the puppies.
The pups will stay at the prison for between six months and a year, and kennels and runs have been put in place for them.
The project was initiated by Corrections’ detector dogs unit. If the pups are found to be suitable, they will go on to be trained as detector dogs (either for Corrections or another government agency).
“The idea behind bringing in the puppies is to reduce re-offending,” said Prison Manager Tracy Tyro.
“The aim is to give the prisoners skills which can be used when they are released, such as basic animal care, handling and training skills. Looking after an animal instils a level of dedication and responsibility and builds life skills.”
Corrections is committed to reducing re-offending by 25% by 2017, and research shows that prisoners who find sustainable work after release are less likely to re-offend.
“This project is about taking advantage of opportunities to succeed in upskilling prisoners so they can get jobs when they’re released. We know that people in regular employment are less likely to re-offend.”
“Staff and prisoners alike are extremely positive about this initiative and look forward to the results that we can accomplish.”
Corrections currently has nine puppies, and the others are being raised by handlers.