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Rick Scott, Governor
Florida Department of Corrections, Secretary Michael D. Crews

Florida Department of Corrections
Timothy H. Cannon, Interim Secretary


Press Release
November 1, 2010
For More Information
Contact: Public Affairs Office
(850) 488-0420

Media Day Planned for SFRC Prison Pups Program

Miami – The South Florida Reception Center, in conjunction with New Horizons Service Dogs Inc., is hosting a special open house for its Prison Pups Program.

Dominican Sister Pauline Quinn, who first had the idea of Prison Pups in 1981, will attend the event. Her life experiences inspired the film “Within These Walls” starring Ellen Burstyn and Laura Dern about a hardened prisoner without hope and a determined nun who sets out to prove, through a dog training program, that criminals can turn their lives around.

Prison Pups in Florida is a Department of Corrections program to train inmates to train service dogs to assist persons with disabilities. Training lasts for 18 months. When complete, dogs are able to assist owners in standing, turning on light switches, opening and closing doors, retrieving dropped items and more.

Members of the media are encouraged to attend and to photograph/video tape and interview volunteers, inmates, and others involved in the program.

When: Thursday, November 4, 2010 at 10 a.m.
Where: South Florida Reception Center
14000 NW 41st Street
Doral, Florida 33178-3003
Who: Prison Pups creator Sister Pauline Quinn; puppies in the program; inmate dog trainers, New Horizon Service Dogs Inc. volunteers; and prison staff who assist with the program.
What: The Prison Pups Program is an inmate vocational program. Inmates involved train and care for the dogs and can earn vocational certificates in dog grooming and training. The program is a part of the Florida Department of Corrections re-entry initiative, which is focused on preparing inmates for successful re-entry into society. These minimum-custody inmates will one day return to Florida communities, like 88 percent of all Florida inmates. This program helps teach the inmates confidence, commitment, compassion and control. Upon completion of the program, dogs will receive additional training through New Horizons before being placed.

Reporters: Please contact the Office of Public Affairs for clearance at (850) 488-0420