The Puppies Behind Bars (PPB) Program works with prison inmates in New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut to train service dogs, including ones who help injured soldiers. The puppies arrive at 8 weeks-old and remain at the prisons, mostly working with one inmate, for 20 months. Fishkill Correctional Facility is a medium security prison in New York with 22 men in the puppy program. The emotional element of caring for the puppies breaks down the hard façade that most prisoners create for themselves to survive prison life. Prisoners learn responsibility and pride in helping others. The program often gives them a new outlook on their crimes, their time in prison, and goals when they are released.
Radhika Chalasani has worked as a photojournalist for over 20 years around the globe producing news, documentary and feature stories published worldwide in magazines and newspapers including Time, Paris Match, The New York Times, Glamour. Her photography assignments have also included work for international aid agencies, the UN. Her work has won awards in Europe and the U.S. and appeared in several books.