OUR ANIMAL PROGRAM PARTNERSHIPS
QCS is involved in many collaborative programs with animal service providers.
These programs range from animal fostering to community service assistance, but all play a significant role in the mutual rehabilitation of prisoners, offenders and the animals themselves.
Affording prisoners the opportunity to improve the lives of animals and gain skills and knowledge in animal welfare allows them to give back to the community harmed by their offending behaviour, and also improve their employment prospects upon release.
PUPS IN PRISON
Numinbah Correctional Centre and the Animal Welfare League Queensland (AWLQ) have been in partnership for the past decade, delivering the Pups in Prison Program.
More than 500 dogs have been fostered at the centre, where they have the capacity to take larger breeds and mothers with their whole litters for extended periods of time. The program also encompasses the temporary fostering of dogs from domestic violence related situations.
Prisoners also perform community service for AWLQ and undergo training to ensure the dogs are healthy and well socialised.
Selected prisoners have become trainee handlers for Smart Pups.
Smart Pups trains assistance dogs for children with special needs, with a focus on improving the quality of life of young people with autism and seizure-related syndromes and their families.
Smart Pups initiated a partnership with Maryborough Correctional Centre this year with foster dogs, Hope and Hank. Selected prisoners have become trainee handlers and are working with Smart Pups in advancing the dogs through training modules. These prisoners are also responsible for looking after the dogs during the week and are accountable for record-keeping requirements until the dogs go home with staff each weekend for community socialisation outside of the correctional centre.
Prisoners have also fabricated exercise yards and runs for the dogs from materials supplied by Smart Pups.
4 PAWS ON THE INSIDE
4 Paws on the Inside was implemented at Lotus Glen Correctional Centre and received a QCS Divisional Excellence Award in the Fostering Innovation category this year.
The program involves the fostering of dogs that would otherwise be euthanized at local impoundments.
Prisoners provide socialisation and obedience training for the dogs when animal control and welfare authorities are at capacity.
RSPCA CAT FOSTERING
Brisbane Women’s Correctional Centre (BWCC) partners with the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA) to foster stray and abandoned cats. Prisoners are trained to care for the animals, sometimes assisting in their recovery from illness or surgery.
The program has also expanded to assist with the Pets in Crisis Program with DVConnect to provide a safe temporary home for cats belonging to victims of domestic violence. This year, Correctional Supervisor, Marilyn Cook received the QCS Divisional Award for the Fostering Innovation category for her work in implementing the program.
BWCC has also partnered with the RSPCA to raise funds for the annual RSPCA Cupcake Day. This August, prisoners and staff contributed to raise nearly $3,000 for animals in need.