Travis Hirschi theorized that those with weaker ties to conventional society will be more likely to engage in crime. Incarcerated people are among society’s most marginalized. Our paper argues that dog training programs provide incarcerated people with the opportunity to establish secure attachments and to strengthen weakened bonds and prosocial networks. Using secondary analysis of qualitative data, we find support for the presence of the four components of Hirschi’s Social Bond Theory among program participants. Our paper is the first to apply a theory to explain the effectiveness of DTPs. Finally, we consider the impact that strengthened social bonds can have on criminal desistance.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes