Prison closure will end inmate dog-training work
DWIGHT – Prison inmate Sorrell Blomley has an unusual source of strength helping her endure life in a 9-by-12-foot cell: golden retriever puppies she helps train for charity work.
The 26-year-old is one of a number of prisoners at Dwight Correctional Center taking part in the training program and lamenting that it will come to an end because the prison for women is one of two slated to close as Illinois grapples with an immense budget crisis. For Blomley, it means the end of a program she says has benefited her as much as it has the Alzheimer’s patients, disabled children and others who get visits from the specially trained animals.
“Before, I was very shy,” said Blomley, who is serving a 10-year sentence. “I was afraid to step out of my shell and didn’t have any people skills. Now I feel like I can work with people.”
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