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Dog training program at Lorain Correctional Institute gives inmates a sense of purpose

Posted at 11:31 AM, Nov 22, 2019
and last updated 2019-11-22 11:31:38-05

GRATON, Ohio — At the Lorain Correctional Institute, every day is bring your dog to work day, but it's not just about keeping the pups company.

The "All Paws on Deck" apprenticeship program allows prison employees to bring their dogs in for obedience training, grooming and boarding. Their caregivers are inmates who have undergone thousands of hours of training while behind bars.

The program is designed to give inmates a sense of purpose.

While some inmates are serving a life sentence, most will eventually be up for parole and sent back into society.

"You can be incarcerated and still show you have integrity. Still show you have standards. Still show you're a good person. You've made a mistake,” said Kevin Monlinatto with the Lorain Correctional Institute. "Very few of them are locked up for the rest of their life. Very few. If we're not doing something positive with them, what do we expect to release?"

The inmates are paid a small stipend for caring for the animals, and then required to give 51 percent of the profits made from the program to local charities.

RELATED: Jailed young men find purpose and 'pawsitive' outlook while working at Geauga County Humane Society