CAMDEN, N.J. — A New Jersey program training rescue dogs to help combat veterans is enlisting help from an unexpected source: the Camden County Jail.

Newsworks reports ( ) some inmates are spending their days teaching the dogs basic commands. The program is a partnership between the jail, county officials and an animal rescue group.

The inmates say the dogs provide them with companionship and a sense of purpose, which they say can be difficult to find behind bars.

The program also provides the inmates with new skills, which Darren Hardison says he hopes to put to work as a dog trainer when he gets out.

The dogs will eventually be given to veterans to serve as companion animals.

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