AP - AP Clients Only
CRESAPTOWN, Md., 11 Nov 2012
1. CS of prison sign
2. MS of barbed wire around facility
3. MS of Inmate Hazard Wilson, seated, working with dog named Yardley.
4. MS of inmate placing yellow vest on dog named Dill
5. SOUNDBITE: Hazard Wilson/Inmate trainer - discharged military police officer (Transcript Below)
6. MS of inmate John Barba (BAR-bay) playing with Dill in his cell.
7. SOUNDBITE: Hazard Wilson/Inmate trainer - discharged military police officer (Transcript Below)
8. WS of cell tier
9. WS of Yardley in cage
10. TS of Yardley in his kennel in Wilson's cell
11. SOUNDBITE: Frank Bishop Jr/Prison Warden (Transcript)
12. WS of inmates walking dogs across the prison yard
13. WS of Western Correctional Institution
IN THIS PRISON... TUCKED INTO THE APPALACHIAN MOUNTAINS... SOME OF THE INMATES ARE DEVELOPING A SPECIAL BOND WITH THE FACILITY'S NEW, 4-LEGGED RESIDENTS.
A GROUP OF MODEL PRISONERS... WHO HAPPEN TO BE MILITARY VETERANS... ARE TRAINING PUPPIES TO BECOME SERVICE DOGS FOR DISABLED VETS.
SOUNDBITE: Hazard Wilson/Inmate Trainer - Former Military Police Officer: "I served in peacetime, so I kind of cringe _ I feel that they don't get what they deserve when they come home. So this is part of why I do what I do."
PROFESSIONAL TRAINERS SAY PRISON-RAISED DOGS TEND TO DO BETTER THAN THOSE RAISED TRADITIONALLY IN FOSTER HOMES.
THAT'S BECAUSE PUPPIES RESPOND WELL TO CONSISTENCY AND RIGID SCHEDULES...
AND THAT'S JUST WHAT THEY GET IN PRISON.
SOUNDBITE: Hazard Wilson/Inmate Trainer - Former Military Police Officer: "We're putting them through some very stringent training _ 90 percent of their time is training _ so it gives me great joy just see them romp and roll around and be puppies."
THE DOGS WILL SPEND ABOUT 14-MONTHS AT THIS FACILITY... AND THEY'LL LEARN SKILLS LIKE WORKING LIGHT SWITCHES AND CARRYING OBJECTS FOR THEIR MASTERS.
THE PUPS SLEEP IN CAGES INSIDE THE INMATE'S CELLS AND GO WITH THEIR TRAINERS TO ACTIVITIES AND MEALS.
SOUNDBITE: Warden Frank Bishop Jr. SOT: "It brings a sense of normalcy. I noticed that prior to coming up here, the dogs walking with the chow line, and there was a sense of calmness. Inmates' hands in their pockets, staff mingling along with it. And in this type of environment, that's incredible."
THE DOGS SPEND THEIR WEEKENDS AT NEARBY PRIVATE HOMES SO THEY CAN BECOME FAMILIAR WITH SHOPPING MALLS, TRAFFIC LIGHTS AND NORMAL HOUSEHOLD CHAOS.
ED DONAHUE, ASSOCIATED PRESS.