If you can trust/believe what you read in the newspaper, it seems our elected officials have decided to listen to their supporters.

The two Justice Reform bills passed and for awhile it looked as though what we’d voted for might be ignored.

Justice Reform has worked in other states, municipalities and, believe it or not, countries.

What makes me scratch my head is how Oklahomans are famous in a time of crisis (Murrah Building, Moore Tornado, Panhandle Fires) yet, when it comes to justice reform, all bets are off.

My viewpoint completely changed when Sarge entered my life, at another sanctuary, went to the prison training program at Lexington and now reigns supreme as the official greeter/cheerleader at the Norman Veterans Center. I’ve written about it before.

We’re now working with the program at the Northeast Oklahoma Correctional Center.

NOCC Dog Training Program

Everyone who works with us quickly realizes the benefits to the dogs, the inmates and the trainers (PAAS employees).

When you spend any time at an Oklahoma correctional facility, you quickly realize the untapped potential that is behind the fences.

Thousands of men and women walking around with no clear purpose or job, day after day, doesn’t make sense.

PAAS Board members and staff have visited with the trainers in the Friends for Folks program at Lexington.

Some of them were a little hesitant to go, but once they’d met with real people who care about animals everything changed.

Each time I’ve taken a group to visit, the visit has lasted more than 3 hours because everyone is engaged.

The shelter dogs who go to live with the trainers at NOCC graduate with their Canine Good Citizenship certificate.

In addition, they learn a few tricks, get familiar with the obstacle course and some of them fall in love with chasing/retrieving anything and everything.

Yes, I believe in criminal justice reform; yes, I believe in the value of shelter dogs and cats and, yes, I believe they help each other.

If you’d like to know more, please contact me at 918-256- 7227. Kay Stout, Executive Director PAAS