In September of 2002, the California Institution for Women in Chino, CA, became the first prison within the state of California to have a Service Dog Training Program. Canine Support Teams is proud of its “Prison Pup Program” where the inmate trainers play a vital role in the advanced training of our service dogs for the disabled community.
The dogs are assigned to an inmate trainer at 18 months of age, after being raised in a puppy raiser home where they are well socialized and taught obedience skills. They remain at the prison for 4-6 months. CST staff provides the inmates 2 hour training classes each Tuesday evening and 3 Saturdays per month, working with the inmates and training them to become dog trainers, groomers, and technicians.
CST Founder Carol Roquemore’s ultimate joy in the program is that “The women who have been released from prison after being involved in the dog training program, have not returned to prison. Not one!”
The current program consists of twenty dogs and over fifty inmate participants.