Jennifer Raspberry, Corrections Caseworker I
"Through diligence in training, dedication and lots of teamwork...offender trainers gain a sense of compassion and empathy for others. The offender trainers must display responsibility , patience and kindness daily within their positions. They build social, life and employability skill every day. The CHAMP prison partnership is a win-win situation for all involved...offenders, staff, CHAMP clients and society."
Ms. Raspberry is the caseworker for our offender-trainers as well as other offenders on the housing wing. She is responsible for supervising all CHAMP volunteers that visit WERDCC on a weekly basis, and also serves as the liaison between the offenders and the outside CHAMP staff if any problems or issues may arise.
Todd Francis, Housing Unit Manager
"...The offenders that train service dogs and rescue dogs have set their standards to a higher degree... I believe this program has taught them leadership, self-reliance, contentment and a purpose for reaching individual and group goals! ...the CHAMP program at WERDCC has not only provided a goal oriented job for the offenders, but has served society in a positive way."
Champ Program Offender-Trainers
"The Champ Program has given me the opportunity to grow as a person and as a trainer. It has built up my self esteem and confidence and also it taught me about teamwork.
The reward I have been given cannot be measured in the human mind, but only in the heart.
Upon release I want to pursue a position in a similar field. The total sense of accomplishment is rewarding overall, the joy that you get when a dog is placed in a home for some disabled person or just to be a pet is enormous knowing that all your hard training will pay off to that person."
"The CHAMP program has been a positive reinforcement in my life. It has given me a chance to succeed once again after I had lost hope. It is the only thing within the institution that makes me want to push myself to learn more. People have told me that I rarely smiled until I joined the CHAMP program, which I think is the biggest change in my life. The training in this program has given me several options to look forward to in my future. It makes me want to help people more and more. I plan to continue working with service dogs or search and rescue in the future. I want to make a difference in people’s lives and give back what the program has given to me."