Family and Friends Newsletter-October 2019

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missouri department of corrections

Family and Friends Newsletter | October 2019

Puppies for Parole

P4P Gia

Puppies for Parole (P4P) is a unique program made possible through a partnership between the Missouri Department of Corrections, animal shelters and animal rescue groups. Selected offenders at participating institutions volunteer as dog trainers to teach basic obedience and socialization skills to the rescued canines, ultimately making them more adoptable. 

Offender trainers are enrolled in an apprenticeship program through the U.S. Department of Labor. Through formal training, individualized study and on the job training, offenders earn a certificate in animal handling, which is recognized in all 50 states.

The benefits of the Puppies for Parole program are three-fold. The program gives offenders the skills necessary to support successful rehabilitation and re-entry. At the same time, this is an opportunity for the offenders to begin to repay Missouri communities and repair some of the debts caused by their crimes. The department has also witnessed this program have a positive effect on offenders and staff, increasing the safety and security of the facility.

In addition to training shelter dogs for household pets, the program has evolved into training canines as certified helper dogs. Advanced P4P dogs have been trained for children and adults with special needs; for veterans suffering from PTSD; for placement in veterans' homes and skilled nursing facilities; as canine therapy dogs; and to be used in Missouri courts for children testifying in difficult cases.

The Puppies for Parole program does not receive general revenue funding from the state. Rather, supplies and support come from partnering organizations, donations from offender organizations, individual offenders and community members.

View the awesome new video from Royal Canin.

Available Puppies

Connections to Success Partnership

Connections to Success Mock Interviews

In August, 12 offenders from Northeast Correctional Center (NECC) graduated from the Connections to Success program.

The program was led by founders Kathy and Brad Lambert to assist offenders in finding productive employment upon their release. The offenders completed an intensive two-week course of instruction on résumé writing, life skills, interview techniques and self-inventory. The offenders were taught to look for their strengths and translate them into occupational advantages that would be lucrative to employers. Several community members volunteered to assist in mock interviews. The students wore new suits and practiced their new skills. Upon their release, the offenders will be given their donated suits to be able to present themselves professionally when they interview in the community.

Connections to Success has also held programs at Algoa Correctional Center and the Kansas City Reentry Center.

Algoa Launches Urban League Partnership

Urban League ACC

In August, Algoa Correctional Center teamed up with the Urban League of Metropolitan St. Louis to launch a new program. The reentry program, a prison chapter of Save Our Sons, prepares offenders with employability skills and life skills prior to the offenders release and then supports them through the vast Urban League network when they return to the community. There are currently a dozen Algoa offenders taking part in the pilot program.

Resources for Families of Incarcerated Individuals

Empowering Dads Embracing Fatherhood is a new program at Boonville Correctional Center implemented to help reunite and build better bonds between children and their incarcerated fathers.  This reunification prior to the father's release can help ease the transition for the offender's reentry and promote positive behavior during incarceration.  Fathers must meet criteria before participating in the program and guardians of the children must be supportive and willing to participate.  The monthly one-on-one visit lasts four hours and includes lunch, games, craft projects and outside play time. 

Empowering Dads BCC