Prison can be a lonely place, but a group of inmates in Milledgeville are getting the chance to team up with an unlikely friend.
"The people in society and in the institution really don't get to see the love that we have," inmate Charlie Young said.
Charlie Young has lived his entire adult life behind bars.
"The only time I get to be a father is when they would come to the visiting room, and you miss that," Young said.
But Young and several other inmates at GEO Riverbend Correctional Facility are getting another chance to parent -- to parent a dog.
Dogs from the Baldwin County animal shelter are brought to the prison to live with inmates who train them before they're adopted out.
"It may be a dog, but you're sharing the love and the dog is giving you so much love back, and it's accepted you for your mistakes and it's still loving you," Young said. "And that makes you feel like society will love you, too."
Some of the prisoners will be there for the rest of their lives, and that weighs heavy on some inmates, but Maurice Lidy says working with these animals helps brighten the gray cloud that usually hangs over them.
"Prison isn't a great thing," Lidy said. "To see how the others react to the dogs is amazing. To see that maybe the guy that always has a scowl on his face or isn't happy any day of the week, when Marley especially walks up and gives him a little love and affection, how the scowl goes away and he's a little happier throughout the day, a little brighter, it makes a big difference."
Lidy says it's hard to see the dogs get adopted out, but having created a bond with an unlikely friend makes it worthwhile.
"They're now going from death row, to prison, and then made parole and got to go to a good home and that makes it all worth it," Lidy said.
Georgia College and State University students working towards a criminal justice degree have worked with the inmate trainers over the last few weeks. They've seen firsthand how the inmates have grown and changed throughout the process of caring for a dog.
Professor Alesa Liles explains what the class does:
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