Dogs to help Thailand’s prisoners prepare for reintegration into society

Photo courtesy of the Ministry of Justice

Dogs are going to some of Thailand’s prisons as part of a new therapy programme by the Department of Corrections to help psychologically prepare inmates for reintegration into society after release and to improve the mental health of inmates by reducing anxiety and depression. Justice Minister Somsak Thepsuthin also said some convicts will learn vocational skills that could potentially help them get jobs after they finish their sentence.

“The programme aims to teach inmates to be kinder and more humane, besides handing them vocational skills. Graduates under this programme can use the experience to become a veterinarian assistant or work in a dog grooming shop.”

Inmates incarcerated at one of the four prisons participating in the project will have the opportunity to be matched with a dog. Supervisors will work to choose dogs that match the personalities of the inmates. A veterinarian will brief prisoners on proper care for the dogs.

The canines will come from animal shelters, but the minister said they will use “selected breeds that are suitable for inmates and prison setting.”

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Prisons participating in the pilot phase of the project include Nakhon Ratchasima Central Prison, Rayong Central Prison, Khlong Phai Prison in Nakhon Ratchasima and Khao Bin Central Prison in Ratchaburi. The minister says the animal therapy programme will be expanded to other prisons and detention centres if the pilot phase is successful.

Dogs to help Thailand's prisoners prepare for reintegration into society | News by Thaiger
Photo courtesy of the Ministry of Justice

SOURCES: Bangkok Post | Nation Thailand

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