A case study of incarcerated males participating in a canine training program

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dc.contributor.author Currie, Nikki S.
dc.date.accessioned 2008-12-02T17:17:24Z
dc.date.available 2008-12-02T17:17:24Z
dc.date.issued 2008-12-02T17:17:24Z
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/2097/1028
dc.description.abstract The number of animal training programs in correctional facilities has increased in the past 25 years. Anecdotal accounts have informally assessed the efficacy of prison training programs; however, only limited systemic studies have been conducted (Britton & Button, 2005; Furst, 2006). Preliminary information from anecdotal accounts and narratives indicates the potential these programs have to impact inmate behavior, self- esteem, staff and inmate morale, and community perceptions of offenders (Cushing & Williams, 1995; Harkrader, Burke, & Owen, 2004). There is also an indication inmate trainers learn responsibility, patience, coping skills, and vocational skills (Britton & Button, 2005; Merriam-Arduini, 2000; Turner, 2007). This qualitative study presents preliminary findings from the following five participant perspectives on the perceived outcomes of a canine training program in a correctional facility where inmates train assistance, therapy, rescue, and medical alert canines: (a) inmate trainers, (b) former inmate trainers, (c) non-trainer inmates who are not involved in the training program, (d) staff, and (e) the researcher. Once trained, the canines are adopted as assistance dogs for individuals in need. Data collected from in- depth interviews with current inmate trainers, former inmate trainers, non-trainer inmates, and staff, and audio and video recordings, researcher observations, and a researcher developed scale indicated the following themes which emerged from the study: there are positive emotional outcomes and positive practical outcomes for inmate trainers who work with dogs in the training program. Positive emotional outcomes for inmate trainers include the following: (a) providing social support, (b) gaining a sense of pride, (c) serving as a feeling of giving back to society, (d) increasing personal patience, (e) humanizing the inmate trainers, and (f) improving self-esteem. Positive practical outcomes for inmate trainers emerged in the following areas: (a) improving responsibility, (b) having a positive impact on the prison environment, (c) providing opportunities to help others, (d) using goal setting, (e) gaining employability skills, and (e) having a positive effect on behavior. Results from this study will add to existing literature and research in the field of animal-assisted interventions and rehabilitation programs with human beings, specifically those in correctional facilities. In addition, results from this study will assist correctional administration in the design, implementation, and evaluation of dog training programs in prisons. en
dc.language.iso en_US en
dc.publisher Kansas State University en
dc.subject Prison animal programs en
dc.subject Human-animal bond en
dc.subject Pet-facilitated therapy en
dc.subject Correctional facilities en
dc.subject Pet therapy en
dc.subject Prison programs en
dc.title A case study of incarcerated males participating in a canine training program en
dc.type Dissertation en
dc.description.degree Doctor of Philosophy en
dc.description.level Doctoral en
dc.description.department Department of Counseling and Educational Psychology en
dc.description.advisor Fred O. Bradley en
dc.subject.umi Education, Guidance and Counseling (0519) en
dc.subject.umi Sociology, Criminology and Penology (0627) en
dc.date.published 2008 en
dc.date.graduationmonth December en


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