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Thailand to Use Dogs to Help Rehabilitate Prison Inmates

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Thailand to Use Dogs to Help Rehabilitate Prison Inmates

Thailand’s Justice Ministry has announced it has green-lighted a pilot project that will allow inmates in four prisons to be paired with dogs, aimed at reducing anxiety, depression, and other antisocial behavior among inmates.

Justice Minister Somsak Thepsutin told a media briefing on Thursday that Thailand’s Department of Corrections will test the efficacy of emotional support dogs in four prisons. The emotional support dogs are to help inmates psychologically prepare to rejoin society following their incarceration.

He said the Department of Corrections will work directly with animal associations and shelters to seek out dogs for the pilot project. The minister did not say how much time inmates will get to spend with the emotional support dogs.

Before a convict can partake in the pilot project, a supervisor has to match them with a dog that best suits the character and/or temperament of the inmate. And above all ensure the project’s success.

Prison inmates will also be briefed by veterinarians and animal associates on how to handle an animal and take care of it properly.

If the pilot project is well received, the Department of Corrections will expand the project to other correctional facilities in the country, the Justice Minister said.

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