The Inmate Dog Alliance Project of Idaho (IDAPI) program was a community partnership of the Idaho Humane Society and Idaho Department of Correction.
Please note: Our IDAPI program is now retired. When COVID initially surfaced, the prison shuttered visitors, and two years passed without the program.
We focused on building a robust dog behavior department inside our nonprofit during that time. Today, our behavior and dog training staff work with the dogs inside the shelter before adoption, albeit not on the same level. However, we recommend post-adoption training to strengthen bonding and build long-term support.
Our internal progress in these two years led to the difficult decision to shutter the program permanently.
History of IDAPI
IDAPI places shelter dogs in cell blocks of Idaho correctional facilities for two-month periods, during which inmates care for them and train them using positive reinforcement techniques.
With dedicated time and attention from the inmates, some of our most difficult to place shelter dogs – generally young, especially exuberant dogs – become well-socialized, trained family pets. And by having about 30 dogs enrolled in the IDAPI program and living in one of three correctional facilities at any given time, there is more room in our shelter for other dogs. The IDAPI program launched in 2004 and is one of the reasons we are able to have such a high adoption rate for dogs.
The IDAPI experience helps teach inmates responsibility, patience, tolerance, persistence, and empathy. It shows them how it feels to give back to the community, promotes cooperation with other inmates and increases morale. Participants are carefully screened by the Idaho Department of Correction for acceptance into the program, and IDAPI cell blocks tend to be the best-behaved in the Idaho corrections system.