8 Offenders Complete VISION Guide Dog Program

Commissioner: 
Gregory C. Dozier
Director of Public Affairs: 
Joan Heath
Contact Name: 
Jeal Salter
Contact Number: 
(478) 992-5248
Contact Email: 
Jeal.Salter@gdc.ga.gov
Date: 
Thursday, December 15
STATE OF GEORGIA

8 Offenders Complete VISION Guide Dog Program

Burruss Correctional Training Center hosts Graduation Ceremony

FORSYTH, Ga. – On December 8, eight offenders completed the VISION Guide Dog Program at Burruss Correctional Training Center in Forsyth, GA. These eight graduates received multiple certifications from Central Georgia Technical College (seven in Animal Healthcare Assistance, five in Animal Caretaking, and four in Dog Grooming).

“This is a very effective program, as it not only allows offenders to give back to the community, it provides several certifications that they can utilize upon their release,” said Commissioner Dozier. “We are grateful for the opportunity to participate in this important program, and it would not be possible without our partnerships with Central Georgia Technical College and The Guide Dog Foundation.”

GDC partners with The Guide Dog Foundation (http://www.guidedog.org) to pair offenders with future guide dogs. The mission of this foundation is to improve the quality of life for people who are blind or visually impaired.

Dogs are placed with an offender volunteer as a puppy and will remain at the facility until they are approximately 14 months old. The offender teaches the dog basic obedience training, and as part of the socialization process, each dog accompanies its trainer throughout the prison during the week. Weekend puppy raisers take the dog home to familiarize them with the outside world.

When the training is complete, the dogs are returned to the Guide Dog Foundation headquarters, located in Long Island, New York, to undergo more advanced training. 

The GDC has one of the largest prison systems in the U.S. and is responsible for supervising nearly 52,000 state prisoners. It is the largest law enforcement agency in the state with approximately 10,500 employees.

For more information on the GDC call 478-992-5248 or visit http://www.gdc.ga.gov.

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