Well, we did it- we finally did it!
Since our inception in January of 2009, we have off and on contacted our home state, Georgia, in an attempt to bring our prison foster and training program to a Georgia prison. We have come up short every time. But near the end of August I decided to attack the issue from another angle and that was to contact the corporate office of a company who privately runs at least five Georgia prisons. Bingo! I had a return email within minutes and a call scheduled the next day with the Senior Director of Re-entry Programs. It was a matter of days before I was speaking with administration at Jenkins County Correctional Center.
The months since then have been busy preparing our program for Jenkins, working with Administration as we fine tuned our contract and gaining that approval from their Corporate office, and getting the inmates prepared to receive our first group of Greyhounds. Our first meetings with the inmates began in November with selection meetings, testing for the inmates, orientation, etc.
At last we were ready and they were ready! Our first six Greyhounds entered the prison on Thursday, December 18th. The timing was specifically meant to get the dogs in before the holidays so the inmates would have time to get to know their Greyhound before training begins January 3rd plus it will no doubt help with morale! Who doesn't love a furry friend during the holidays?
Here is our first group shot with the inmates involved in the program, prison administration, myself, our trainer, Kathy Marggraff, and our SCG Secretary, Shae Nida. It does, indeed, take a village!!
Stay tuned as we chronicle our journey and a journey it will be!