Delaware corrections officials denying the accuracy of a Human Rights Watch report that the state uses “aggressive, unmuzzled” dogs to remove uncooperative prisoners from their cells, reports the Wilmington News Journal. The report said policies in Delaware, as well as Connecticut, Iowa, South Dakota, and Utah, allow officers to use trained attack dogs to frighten prisoners into leaving their cells if they do not do so voluntarily. The report, “Cruel and Degrading: The use of dogs for cell extractions in U.S. prisons,” said dogs may be ordered to bite prisoners if they resist.
Jamie Fellner, author of the report, said, “We are delighted if Delaware does not have a policy of permitting the use of dogs. But that is what their communication person told us.” The report noted that although prison policies in Delaware and South Dakota permit the use of dogs for cell extractions, the animals are not actually used that way.