WARREN, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- Behind the walls of Maine's tougest prison, ther are men charged with murder and former drug dealers. But the inmates getting the most attention are likely the ones walking around on four paws.
For eight years, the humane society has been working with the Maine State Prison on a dog training program. High energy puppies, or rowdy dogs will spend 6-12 weeks in the jail with designated inmates.
The dogs and prisoners eat, sleep, and learn together with help from trainer, Marie Finnegan.
With their handlers, these dogs learn basic training, sit and stay, how to alert they need to go outside, plus a few bonus tricks.
But only the well-behaved prisoners have access to the dogs - inmate and dog handler, Brandon Brown, says that's incentive enough to stay out of trouble.
Finnegan says these are dogs that may just have too much energy and need a little guidance. After 6-12 weeks in the prison, these dogs are well-behaved, well-socialized and ready for a new home.
In the meantime, the prisoners are learning new skills through the positive-reinforcment of training the dogs. Finnegan said it's proof for the inmates that they don't have to get physical to get someone to do something for them.
"Positive reinforcement works on all species," says Finnegan.
K9 Corrections runs on donations. If you'd like more information on the program, or the dogs up for adoption, click here.