Prisons are fascinating places.

I like visiting them — not to stay very long, but to report on life behind bars. I’ve spent some time doing that in Maryland prisons. Not long ago, I reported on prison librarians and a prison news program which uses inmates as broadcasters.

This morning, I came across a Capital News Service video which reports on an innovative effort in Maryland prisons: inmates training rescue dogs. “This is not your typical dog school,” the reporter says.

The dogs even sleep in the cells. (Talk about a large dog crate!) The big idea: Prisoners rehabilitate the rescue dogs, and the dogs rehabilitate the prisoners.

“As much as we love the dogs, we know they’ll go to a better family,” one inmate said. He has 37 years before he goes home.