Located about 2 hours north of Los Angeles, the California City Correctional Facility is one of a number of prisons that facilitate Marley's Mutt's Pawsitive Change, a program in which rescue dogs from all over the world (as far as Yulin, China and Iran) are paired and live with inmates for 12 weeks per cycle in hopes of coming out of the program trained and ready to find forever homes. The only disqualifiers for applying inmates are sex crimes and a history of violence against animals or children.
The 30 inmates who make the program set aside race/affiliations and work through personal hang-ups to find their discipline and confidence, helping to bring those same qualities out of the dogs. Those who’ve gone through multiple cycles act as teachers and mentors to newer classmates.
This is an ongoing project for myself as I join Marley’s Mutts each Tuesday to document the program and its effects on the inmates, the trainers, prison employees and the dogs themselves. I’ve nothing but the utmost love, admiration and respect for every life involved in this program.