| Media Advisory
July 13, 2013
| For More Information
|WHO:||Reporters are invited to the 29th UTOPIA program graduation ceremony, where dogs are trained by state inmates at Taylor Work Camp in Perry, Florida. Reporters will have opportunities to film the dogs, to interview the staff and inmates, and to be there when the coveted “Top Dog” award is announced.|
|WHEN:||The graduation takes place on July 16, 2013, at Taylor Correctional Institution’s Work Camp at 10:00 a.m.|
|WHAT:||UTOPIA stands for Undergoing Training & Obedience in Prison to Increase Adoptability. UTOPIA dogs spend almost three months at Taylor Correctional Institution’s Work Camp being trained by an inmate and can sit, stay, come and walk by your side without pulling on the leash. They are crate trained and housebroken. They have all their shots, are microchipped, and have been spayed or neutered.|
|WHY:||Currently one of every three inmates released from the Florida prison system returns to prison within three years. Through programs like UTOPIA, 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 UTOPIA graduation ceremony, please contact the Department of Corrections’ Communications Office at (850) 488-0420 several days before the scheduled graduation, as attendees will need to complete and submit a Media Access Form.
OUR COMMUNITY PARTNERS: To adopt a UTOPIA graduate, contact the Leon Community Animal Service Center’s Ann English at (850) 891-2950 or go here to find out more http://www.talgov.com/animals/utopia.cfm. Adoption only costs $150 – a bargain since you won’t have to pay for dog training!
DIRECTIONS TO TAYLOR WORK CAMP: Hwy-27 to US-98 and turn west for 3 ½ miles to CR-356 and turn left (south) for 6 miles. The facility is on the left.
As Florida's largest state agency, the Department of Corrections employs more than 25,000 members statewide, oversees more than 100,000 inmates and supervises nearly 120,000 offenders in the community.