Paws in Prison: A Second Chance

The documentary film Paws in Prison: A Second Chance takes an in-depth look at a program that has been incorporated in seven Arkansas prisons since 2011. Select inmates housed in these prisons are chosen to learn how to become dog trainers during their sentences. They spend 24 hours a day with dogs that were rescued from shelters where they may have been euthanized. This project incorporates interviews with inmates in the Paws in Prison program, wardens at the Maximum Security Unit and the Tucker Unit, and volunteers who spend time teaching inmates how to train and socialize their dogs. The film includes footage I shot inside two Arkansas prisons. This 23-minute film, submitted as a supplemental file to this paper, tells the story of one inmate, who is new to the program, and the first dog he is assigned to train, and another inmate who is scheduled to be released on parole in August. The documentary explores the impact the Paws in Prison program is having on incarcerated individuals and institutions. It illustrates both positive and potential negatives aspects of programs such as these in the prison system. The goal of this film is to answer questions about how these programs work, how the community perceives the programs and what, if anything, have the inmates learned from being a part of Paws in Prison. The target audience for this film includes anyone interested in the Arkansas penal system and the ways in which prisoners are rehabilitated while incarcerated. I believe viewers who are interested in saving animals would also be included in the target audience.