Sections

Incarcerated kids training service dogs at Crown Heights detention facility

The incarcerated youth teach Simon, a Yorkie, to lie down on command during a training session at Rising Gorund’s Corwn Heights facility on Aug. 24.
Brooklyn Paper
Share on TwitterTweet
Share on Facebook
Subscribe

Don’t miss our updates:

Five incarcerated Brooklyn youth are learning how to care for and train service dogs while locked up at a juvenile detention center in Crown Heights.

“A lot of the kids come into the program, and they’re very emotionally closed. It’s hard for them to open up,” said Jeannie Ashford, a rep with the program. “The dogs help the kids to think about their emotions. They’ve shut down their emotions, but when they start training these dogs, it helps them reconnect with their emotions — and with other people.”

The program — run by the nonprofit Rising Ground — offers incarcerated kids an opportunity to serve their sentence in a secure, retrofitted Crown Heights home as an alternative to the traditional prison system.

The facility is currently occupied by five teenagers, who work together to teach new tricks to two pups — a Yorkie named Simon, and a Pitbull mix named Jay Mo.

“The dogs are very therapeutic for the kids,” said Ashford. “They love it.”

The alt-prison facility and its four-legged staff helps the incarcerated kids build social and life skills while serving their time, improving their chances of staying out of trouble once they’re free to leave, said Ashford.

“On the first day that the kids come into the program, we start planning about what they’re going to do when they get out,” she said. “You can’t just take teens and put them in adult penitentiaries upstate, where they are not going to go to school and they’re not going to have a chance to re-enter their communities.”

Reach reporter Aidan Graham at agraham@schnepsmedia.com or by calling (718) 260–4577. Follow him at twitter.com/aidangraham95.
Posted 12:00 am, August 28, 2019
Today’s news:
Share on TwitterTweet
Share on Facebook
Subscribe

Don’t miss our updates:


Reasonable discourse

Sherman Butte from East Forks, Iowa says:
Please don’t let these children eat the animals!!
Aug. 28, 2019, 2:47 am
Joey C from Clinton Hills says:
There is no such thing as a Yorkie Service Dog.
Aug. 28, 2019, 8:43 am
Erin S from Prospect Heights says:
Wow, Sherman Butte and Joey C what ignorant comments. Yorkies can be used as service dogs for folks with diabetes to alert on blood sugar levels and also as emotional support dogs. And "don't let the children eat the animals"?!? You should be worried that your first thought was in this direction. Why not celebrate that a kid is finding pride in helping to train a dog, learning to explore their own emotions and relationship building skills, and investing in and learning transferrable skills for when they return to the community?
Aug. 29, 2019, 10:54 am

Comments closed.

First name
Last name
Your neighborhood
Email address
Daytime phone

Your letter must be signed and include all of the information requested above. (Only your name and neighborhood are published with the letter.) Letters should be as brief as possible; while they may discuss any topic of interest to our readers, priority will be given to letters that relate to stories covered by The Brooklyn Paper.

Letters will be edited at the sole discretion of the editor, may be published in whole or part in any media, and upon publication become the property of The Brooklyn Paper. The earlier in the week you send your letter, the better.

Keep it local!

Stay in touch with your community. Subscribe to our free newsletter: