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The evaluation of Dutch Cell Dogs: an innovative training program for detainees

De evaluatie van Dutch Cell Dogs: een innovatief trainingsprogramma voor gedetineerden



- candidate number28249
- NTR NumberNTR6894
- ISRCTNISRCTN no longer applicable
- Date ISRCTN created
- date ISRCTN requested
- Date Registered NTR21-nov-2017
- Secondary IDsMEC 2015-CDE-4006 
- Public TitleThe evaluation of Dutch Cell Dogs: an innovative training program for detainees

De evaluatie van Dutch Cell Dogs: een innovatief trainingsprogramma voor gedetineerden
- Scientific TitleThe effectiveness of Dutch Cell Dogs in justice centers in the Netherlands: a quasi-experimental trial

De effectiviteit van Dutch Cell Dogs in de (justitiële) residentiële zorg: een quasi-experimenteel onderzoek
- ACRONYM-
- hypothesisDutch Cell Dogs (DCD) is an intervention that aims to increase susceptibility to treatment in justice centers and decrease the internalizing (i.e., fear, depression) and externalizing (i.e., aggression, recidivism) behavioral problem of detainees in these settings. Detainees are invited to participate in DCD, where they train asylum dogs for two months. The assumption is that by training behaviorally challenging dogs, inmates will acquire skills that eventually promote successful reintegration into society.

DCD aims to improve the detainees’ wellbeing and skills (i.e., self-esteem, empathy, self-control, stress) and also enhance factors associated with treatment success (i.e., treatment motivation, therapeutic alliance, social group climate).
- Healt Condition(s) or Problem(s) studiedBehavioral problems, Psychosocial functioning, Emotional functioning
- Inclusion criteriaInmates are eligible for study participation when they stay in selected justice centers across the Netherlands where the Dutch Cell Dogs training is implemented. Detainees of all ages and sexes can take part in the study. Inmates in the intervention group (receiving the Dutch Cell Dogs training) have to meet inclusion criteria for training participation. These criteria are:

• Physical condition: inmates have to be ‘physically fit’, i.e., capable of walking a dog from an animal shelter.
• Duration of stay: inmates have to remain in justice centers for the duration of the training (two months).
• Medication use: inmates have to be able to be active and observant during training sessions, despite potential medication use.
• Safety: staff at detention centers have to determine whether it is safe for the inmate and surroundings (i.e., the dogs, the trainers) to participate in the training.
- Exclusion criteriaAll inmates (in the control and intervention group) have to remain in justice centers for the duration of the training to be able to participate in the study.
- mec approval receivedyes
- multicenter trialyes
- randomisedno
- groupParallel
- Type2 or more arms, non-randomized
- Studytypeintervention
- planned startdate 1-apr-2017
- planned closingdate31-dec-2018
- Target number of participants200
- InterventionsDutch Cell Dogs. A training program for detainees.
- Primary outcomeInternalizing and externalizing behavioral problems and recidivism.
- Secondary outcomePsychosocial functioning, physiological functioning, general therapeutic factors, and treatment success.
- TimepointsBefore the start of the training (week 1/T1), halfway through the training (week 4/T2), at the end of the training (week 8/T3), and six months after the end of the training (week 32/T4).
- Trial web site-
- statusopen: patient inclusion
- CONTACT FOR PUBLIC QUERIES Hanne Duindam
- CONTACT for SCIENTIFIC QUERIES Hanne Duindam
- Sponsor/Initiator University of Amsterdam (UvA)
- Funding
(Source(s) of Monetary or Material Support)
University of Amsterdam: Research Institute of Child Development and Education
- Publications-
- Brief summaryThe current study evaluates the effectiveness of Dutch Cell Dogs in justice centers (i.e., psychiatric, juvenile, and adult facilities) in the Netherlands. Questionnaires, neuropsychological tasks, and physiological measures are employed to study to what extent participation in Dutch Cell Dogs is associated with a decrease in internalizing and externalizing behavioral problems, in addition to recidivism. Furthermore, the study assesses to what extent potential changes in psychosocial and physiological functioning are associated with a higher treatment success ratio.
- Main changes (audit trail)
- RECORD21-nov-2017 - 29-dec-2017


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