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News Brief

April 25, 2012MARYVILLE, MO |  By: Wayman

Prison Puppies for Health

The state prison and treatment center in Maryville now has 3 new residents: dogs from the local animal shelter.

Called "Puppies for Parole", the facility is the 17th out of 20 prisons in the state to allow inmates to train and socialize dogs. But Maryville's program is launching a first for the state. Dr. Rebecca Johnson with the University of Missouri says this will be the first field study of exactly how the dogs impact prisoner's self esteem and sense of their control of life.

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Johnson says evidence is showing even staff working at the Missouri prisons with the "Puppies for Parole" program have shown to be more positive and perceive better working conditions.