June 25, 2009
For More Information
Contact: Public Affairs Office
Reporters are invited to the graduation ceremony for the first class of DAWGS (Developing Adoptable dogs With Good Sociability) at Gulf Forestry Camp at 9:00 AM CST on July 8, 2009. Reporters will have an opportunity to interview and photograph/film inmates and program participants.
DAWGS brings together rescue dogs from the St. Joseph Bay Humane Society with inmates and gives each a second chance to succeed. DAWGS are obedience trained by inmates at Gulf Forestry Camp, who were themselves trained by a professional dog trainer in the hopes that they may find gainful employment upon release from prison.
There are currently four inmate dog training programs in the Florida Department of Corrections. One each at Wakulla CI near Tallahassee, Taylor CI in Perry, FL, Gainesville CI and Gulf Forestry Camp in Wewahitchka, FL.
Currently one of every three inmates released from the Florida prison system returns to prison within three years. Through programs like DAWGS, the Department of Corrections is focusing on teaching inmates viable job skills that will lead them to productive jobs and law-abiding lives upon release.
If you wish to attend the DAWGS graduation ceremony, please contact Gretl Plessinger at the Department of Corrections’ Communications Office at (850) 488-0420 by July 2, 2009.
Directions to Gulf Forestry Camp: From Wewahitchka, take Hwy. 71 South toward Port St. Joe for approximately 15 miles to Doc Whitfield Road. Turn left on Doc Whitfield Road for approximately 3 ˝ miles to Gulf Forestry Camp.