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Inmate rehab program at work in Corcoran State Prison

Posted at 7:30 PM, Jan 31, 2018
and last updated 2018-01-31 22:30:13-05

As President Trump called for better prisoner rehabilitation programs during his State of the Union Address on Tuesday, a local group was preparing to continue their work in inmate reform.

"Pawsitive Change", a program created by Marley's Mutts in Kern County, was highly visible at Corcoran State Prison on Wednesday. The 14-week program pairs shelter dogs with inmates, with the goal being rehabilitation for both parties.

The dogs are typically difficult to adopt when they start, but by the end of the course they're put up for adoption through the Marley's Mutts website.

The inmates, meanwhile, spend time with the dogs during the course and learn how to interact with them properly. The prison says participating in the program can lead to inmates getting credits; when combined with good behavior, this could potentially lead to getting time off of a sentence, per Proposition 57.

Corcoran is known as one of the most dangerous prisons in California and is a Level 4 facility, meaning many inmates are doing long (or life) sentences for violent crimes.

Pawsitive Change is also active in three other prisons and Marley's Mutts is working to implement the program into local juvenile detention facilities.

Their program in Cal City and Corcoran are completely funded by the rescue; their goal is to get state and federal backing to implement Pawsitive Change into all California state prisons.