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Five US states allow attack dogs in prisons: HRW report

[JURIST] Five US states permit the use of dogs in prisons to control inmates, Human Rights Watch (HRW) [advocacy group] said in a report [text] released Wednesday. Prison systems in Iowa, Connecticut, South Dakota, Utah and Delaware have policies that allow the use of dogs to control inmates in prisons [press release] and remove uncooperative prisoners from their cells. The procedures permit use of unmuzzled dogs and allow guards to order dogs to bite prisoners.

The HRW report says the US is the only known country that authorizes the use of dogs against inmates who refuse to leave their cells. There were 63 cases of dog use in prisons in Iowa during March 2005 to March 2006 and 20 cases in Connecticut during 2005, according to the report. Dogs were rarely used inside prisons in South Dakota, Utah and Delaware. The use of unmuzzled dogs [JURIST report] in questioning detainees at Abu Ghraib prison [JURIST news archive] in Iraq prompted two military dog handlers to be convicted [JURIST report] on abuse charges. AP has more.

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