MURPHYSBORO, Il. ( -- One southern Illinois community is using prison inmates to help train dogs from a local animal shelter.

And local officials says it's not only helping the dogs, but also the offenders.

The St. Francis Community Animal Rescue in Murphysboro teamed up with the Vienna Correctional Center for the dog training program.

Six dogs were sent to the prison for a 12-week basic training program.

Inmates teach the dogs basic commands and how to walk on a leash.

A representative from the animal hospital says the inmates are learning skills and the dogs are becoming better behaved and more prepared for a new home.

Another eight dogs will enter the program at the prison later this month.

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