Dog Training Programs in Pennsylvania’s Department of Corrections

Perceived Effectiveness for Inmates and Staff

in Society & Animals
Restricted Access
Get Access to Full Text
Rent on DeepDyve

Have an Access Token?

Enter your access token to activate and access content online.

Please login and go to your personal user account to enter your access token.


Have Institutional Access?

Access content through your institution. Any other coaching guidance?


Regardless of the effectiveness of nonhuman animal programs to reduce recidivism among offenders, such programs are popular and used widely in the United States correctional system. Proponents cite measured improvements in attitudes and behaviors among prisoners, and report benefits from building trust with local and national organizations. The present study compared responses from inmates and staff associated with dog training programs in Pennsylvania’s Department of Corrections. Generally, all participants viewed the dog training program positively, agreeing that it reduced recidivism and inmate misconduct, and increased morale and positive social interactions. Inmates perceived the programs to be more effective than staff for reducing recidivism and for improving marketable skills. Female participants and participants from female institutions agreed more that the programs decreased recidivism and non-violent incidents in prison, and brought all inmates together as a community, compared to male participants and those from male institutions, respectively. Policy implications are also discussed.

Society & Animals

Journal of Human-Animal Studies



AndrewsD. A.BontaJ. Rehabilitating criminal justice policy and practice Psychology, Public Policy, and Law 2010 16 1 39 55

AntonioM. E.KlunkF. R. Forty years after “What Works?”: Examining offender programming in Pennsylvania’s Board of Probation & Parole Corrections Today 2014 76 6 42 44

BrittonD. M.ButtonA. Prison pups: Assessing the effects of dog training programs in correctional facilities Journal of Family Social Work 2005 9 4 79 95

DeatonC. Humanizing prisons with animals: A closer look at “cell dogs” and horse programs in correctional institutions The Journal of Correctional Education 2005 56 1 46 62

DowdenC.AndrewsD. A. Effective correctional treatment and violent reoffending: a meta-analysis Canadian Journal of Criminology 2000 42 4 449 476

FurstG. Prison-based animal programs: A national survey The Prison Journal 2006 86 4 407 430

HarkraderT.BurkeT. W.OwenS. S. Pound puppies: The rehabilitative uses of dogs in correctional facilities Corrections Today 2004 66 2 74 79

HogleP. S. Going to the dogs: Prison-based training programs are win-win Corrections Today 2009 71 4 69 72

HollowayK. Community supervision in Oklahoma goes evidence-based Corrections Today 2010 1 76 79

JonesJ.CastleberryC. Innovative and evidence-based approaches to recidivism reduction and reentry Corrections Today 2013 1 44 46

LandenbergerN. A.LipseyM. W. The positive effects of cognitive-behavioral programs for offenders: A meta-analysis of factors associated with effective treatment Journal of Experimental Criminology 2005 1 4 451 476

LatessaE. J.CullenF. T.GendreauP. Beyond correctional quackery: Professionalism and the possibility of effective treatment Federal Probation 2002 66 2 43 49

OsborneS. J.BairR. Healing inmates’ hearts and spirits with man’s best friend Corrections Today 2003 65 2 122 146

Pennsylvania Department of Corrections All Paws on Deck 2014 Harrisburg, PA Author

SaxenaP.MessinaN. P.GrellaC. E. Who benefits from gender-responsive treatment? Accounting for abuse history on longitudinal outcomes for women in prison Criminal Justice and Behavior 2014 41 4 417 432

StrimpleE. O. A history of prison inmate-animal interaction programs American Behavioral Scientist 2003 47 1 70 78

TurnerW. G. The experiences of offenders in a prison canine program Federal Probation 2007 71 1 38 43

Van VoorhisP.SpiropoulosG.RitchieP. N.SeabrookR.SpruanceL. Identifying areas of specific responsivity in cognitive-behavioral treatment outcomes Criminal Justice and Behavior 2013 40 11 1250 1281

WooditchA.TangL. L.TaxmanF. S. Which criminogenic need changes are most important in promoting desistance from crime and substance use? Criminal Justice and Behavior 2014 41 3 276 299


Content Metrics

Content Metrics

All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 67 67 34
Full Text Views 6 6 6
PDF Downloads 6 6 6
EPUB Downloads 0 0 0