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Title: Pawsitive Solutions: The symbiotic relationship between prisoners and dogs
Contributor(s): Humby, Lauren Michelle (author); Barclay, Elaine  (supervisor); Brown, Wendy  (supervisor)orcid ; Righetti, Joanne  (supervisor)
Conferred Date: 2017
Copyright Date: 2017
Open Access: Yes
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Abstract: With the prison population steadily increasing in Australia and over half of prisoners reoffending, it is evident that prison is ineffective for deterring and rehabilitating current and future offenders and reducing recidivism. As a result, there has been a gradual shift toward community corrections, placing an emphasis on interventions that address the criminogenic needs of prisoners. One such intervention is the implementation of prison dog programs (PDPs). PDPs involve a dog being paired with one or more specially selected inmates, who train, socialise and care for a dog for a specified period of time or until the animal is ready to be rehomed or move on to advanced training as an assistance or service dog. Although PDPs have been implemented in many correctional facilities in Australia, there is little evidence to support the existence of such programs. As such, this research sought to address this gap and add to the literature by conducting three studies. The first aimed to examine the nature and extent of PDPs operating in Australia through a national survey of eight corrections staff and 18 representatives from animal welfare, and training organisations involved in administering the program. The second study conducted semi-structured interviews with eight inmates, six corrections staff and one animal welfare representative involved in PDPs in Queensland, to identify the circumstances in which inmates are most likely to benefit from PDPs and how these programs can assist inmates in meeting their immediate and future needs. The third study aimed to explore the effect of PDPs on ten inmate participant's emotional intelligence; specifically, their ability to read emotions in others by comparing their ability, with current and previous dog owners, to provide judgements of emotion in photographs of dogs. The results of these studies support findings of other research and suggest that PDPs not only benefit inmates participating in PDPs, but also non-participant inmates, prison staff, prison culture, the dogs and society. The most reported benefits included positive changes to the prison environment, improved relationships with other inmates and staff and the opportunity to give back to society. The most commonly identified negative aspects were a lack of resources, personality clashes between inmates within the program and inmates' inability to socialise the dogs outside of the prison. Data from the studies as well as a review of the literature were used to develop a program logic model to improve the development, implementation, and evaluation of future PDPs.
Publication Type: Thesis Doctoral
Fields of Research (FoR) 2008: 160299 Criminology not elsewhere classified
160201 Causes and Prevention of Crime
160202 Correctional Theory, Offender Treatment and Rehabilitation
Fields of Research (FoR) 2020: 440299 Criminology not elsewhere classified
440201 Causes and prevention of crime
440202 Correctional theory, offender treatment and rehabilitation
Socio-Economic Objective (SEO) 2008: 940499 Justice and the Law not elsewhere classified
940408 Rehabilitation and Correctional Services
949999 Law, Politics and Community Services not elsewhere classified
Socio-Economic Objective (SEO) 2020: 230408 Rehabilitation and correctional services
Rights Statement: Copyright 2017 - Lauren Michelle Humby
HERDC Category Description: T2 Thesis - Doctorate by Research
Appears in Collections:School of Environmental and Rural Science
School of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences
Thesis Doctoral

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