Numinbah prisoners train dogs for veterans
Prisoners from Numinbah Correctional Centre are helping train assistance dogs for Defence Force Veterans.
Under the arrangement between Queensland Corrective Services (QCS) and Defence Bank Foundation, women at Numinbah Correctional Centre (NCC) are helping to train about 14 dogs a year to Assistance Dog level as part of the Defence Community Dogs program.
The program trains rescue dogs to become assistance dogs to help Veterans with injuries and conditions like Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
Defence Community Dogs is fully funded by donations made to the charity Defence Bank Foundation.
Dogs learn general obedience with the prisoners and are then further trained to provide assistance to help veterans deal with the symptoms of PTSD like waking them from night terrors, helping them cope with anxiety attacks, and giving them the confidence to go out in public again.
The dogs can even help with general tasks around the home like opening doors, retrieving dropped items and putting clothes into the washing machine.
Deputy Commissioner Andy Beck said that the program has benefits for the prisoners as well and the veterans that received the dogs.
“As the prisoners are living with the dogs 24/7, they have a great responsibility to look after their dog’s welfare which, in turn, gives many of the prisoners a sense of accomplishment and self-worth,” Deputy Commissioner Beck said
“International research shows that prison programs involving dogs have significantly more positive impact on future successful reintegration into the community upon release and correlating reductions in recidivism,” he said.
David Marshall, Defence Bank CEO said that they are proud that they can support the partnership with QCS to help veterans.
“I think it is a huge privilege to be able to support Defence Community Dogs and give back to the Defence Community here in Queensland. We are proud to be able to work with QCS and the prisoners at Numinbah to get these dogs specially trained and donate them to the Veterans who need them,” Mr Marshall said.
“It’s a Win:Win:Win program -It’s a win for a dog who is rescued, a win for a prisoner who is rehabilitated and a win for a Veteran whose life is significantly improved.”
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