The Pawsitive Change Program
I am so excited to announce my collaboration with the Pawsitive Change Program. This program matches rescue dogs with inmates inside California State Prisons, and juvenile detention centers. This 14 week program is designed to reduce recidivism rates by providing inmates with viable skills such as working in the pet services industry as trainers and kennel staff once they are released from prison. The goal is to create deep relationships between inmate, dog, and staff. When inmates work with the dogs it allows them to give and receive affection. Other goals include increased willingness to cooperate and engage in a positive manner in a team setting, increase awareness of the needs and emotions of others, increase self esteem and social value, and give themselves to something purposeful.
Before I became a full time artist and designer of my own apparel line I was a Psychotherapist. During those 9 years I worked with youth who were in the juvenile justice system, many who were detained for drug and alcohol offenses. I also had the opportunity to work with men and women who had just been released from prison. Many talked about wanting to be able to learn a trade while incarcerated so when they were released they could integrate back into society, find employment, and be self supporting. Unfortunately this is not always the case, which results in a high recidivism rates. This is why the Pawsitive Change Program is so important, not only for the inmates, but for the dogs that don't have to be euthanized. This program both human and dog get a second chance!!