ST. TAMMANY PARISH, LA (WVUE) - St. Tammany Parish Sheriff Jack Strain and Parish President Pat Brister announced the creation of a new training program at the St. Tammany Parish Jail.
Inmates work with dogs brought to the jail from local shelters to teach them basic skills such as sitting, staying and other abilities that will make them more adoptable. The dogs will also emerge from the training fully kennel trained.
Doggone Express, a non-profit organization based in Belle Chasse, helps Louisiana prisons and jails establish training programs called "From the Big House to Your House."
The program is also designed to help inmates gain marketable skills in canine training and to provide them an opportunity to emotionally bond with other living creatures.
The St. Tammany Parish Jail is planning to have the program up and running soon. Initially, the inmates will undergo training to learn how to work with the dogs. Once the program is established, dogs will be brought to the jail in small groups for highly individualized training.
Approximately six inmates will work with the dogs on a continual basis, according to St. Tammany sheriffs. The dogs will live with the inmates throughout the training. They will be together throughout the day and the dogs will sleep under the inmates' bunks in a dedicated area of the jail. The training regimen will last for 6-8 weeks.