March 2016

Hello to everyone,

Well, as I am continuously encouraged by my family to express my thoughts and feelings in this blog, I felt compelled to share what has recently happened and how my days have drastically changed…

Two weeks ago I received some devastating news from the prison’s administration. Apparently, the administration had decided to remove me from the NEADS Service Dog Program.

Imagine my surprise when just the day before I was told by the program’s liaison that the NEADS Trainer had decided that since I was one of the senior handlers and I had done so well with Dancer, she wanted to bring me an 8 week-old puppy to train. I was ecstatic. With Dancer’s recent graduation just a couple of weeks earlier, I was eager to get started training a new puppy right away. Further, getting a new puppy is an honor that is usually only granted to the most dedicated and skilled handlers. The fact that the NEADS Trainer had chosen to give me a new puppy was a great distinction. Imagine my surprise when, alternatively, the very next day the prison’s administration decided to remove me from the program.

A bittersweet moment between Brian and Dancer at graduation. A dog senses when her trainer is hurting. Brian pets Dancer's head to soothe her but who is comforting who? March 1, 2016

A bittersweet moment between Brian and Dancer at graduation. A dog senses when her trainer is hurting. Brian pets Dancer’s head to soothe her but who is comforting who?
March 1, 2016

I was heartbroken. I can’t even put into words how terrible I felt. Everything that gave my life meaning behind these walls was just taken from me. Being in prison for twenty years as an innocent man is difficult enough; removing me from the NEADS Program was like yanking a life preserver from a drowning man.

Needless to say, my days have changed drastically. I was moved from the dog unit to a more restrictive unit. I now seldom, if ever, come into contact with the dogs I’ve grown to love. Now, rather than spending my days training and working with dogs, I spend up to 17 hours a day locked in a two-man cell. I went from helping disabled people, to a mundane and meaningless existence.

The two years I spent in the NEADS Program meant a lot to me. It gave my days purpose while allowing me to give back to my community. I am grateful that I was able to train three service dogs that were placed with disabled children. I know that those dogs changed the lives of those children. I am proud of that. There is a saying in prison: “Nothing that is good lasts.” Knowing that, I cherished every day that I had with the dogs. And I was thankful for the opportunity.

I still have much to be thankful for. And I am. I have an amazing support system. I have many friends and family that love and support me. I have an amazing legal team fighting every day to bring me home. And I have hope for a future outside of prison. It’s a lot. It’s more than most. I will stay strong and I will stay optimistic. I will not let this terrible place change who I am in my heart. But I cannot hide the truth: I am devastated and heartbroken. But, I am strong. I’ll get through this. And I always remember… every day that I survive in this place brings me One Day Closer.

PLEASE NOTE: We, Brian’s family and friends, believe Brian’s sudden removal from the NEADS Program was retaliation by the prison’s administrators and a direct result of Brian cooperating with the reporter from “Boston Magazine.” Prior to Brian’s interview, he was warned not to do the interview. Specifically, during an interrogation about the interview he was told that his position in the NEADS Program could be at risk. Prison administration at MCI-Concord attempted to stop the interview; however, the reporter went over the administrator’s head and had that decision overruled by the Department of Correction’s Central office. Then, just two weeks after the article was released online, the MCI-Concord prison administration arbitrarily and punitively removed Brian from the NEADS Service Dog Program. Prison administrators have refused to provide any explanation to Brian, written or otherwise other than it was an “administrative decision.”

                Brian has met or exceeded all NEADS program expectations. At the prison he has and continues to be disciplinary report free. He has received positive work, housing, and program evaluations. This action was punitive and clearly retaliatory.

                After being removed from the program he was asked by the NEADS liaison to attend the meet and greet/graduation ceremony on March 1st.  It was the first graduation in nearly a year. Although he did not want to attend and be further upset by the situation, Brian attended as the only handler from the program graduating a dog. He did not mention this incident when he spoke at the ceremony. He did not correct Dancer’s new owner who wished him continued success with his next dog. He barely kept himself together but he did it. He carried himself with maturity and spoke with integrity. He represented the NEADS Program responsibly. He did the right thing.

                In our support of Brian, we are contacting Thomas Turco, Undersecretary of Criminal Justice at the Executive Office of Public Safety and Security-the agency that oversees the Department of Correction. We are asking him, “If it is the mission of the Department of Correction to protect public safety through providing inmates with programming, why then did the administration at MCI-Concord arbitrarily remove Brian Peixoto from a program where he was training service dogs for disabled people in our communities?”

                Support for Brian’s innocence grows every day and for that we are grateful. Folks have always asked what they can do to help to support Brian. We ask that you contact Undersecretary Turco directly as we are (above.) Massachusetts residents can reach out to local state legislators via email and request that they contact Mr. Turco. Our hope is that an inquiry from the Undersecretary will prompt officials at MCI Concord to reconsider their decision to remove Brian, and also that he will be reinstated and allowed to return to training service dogs.

                While we are always One Day Closer, we are asking that you assist in our efforts to make it so that Brian spends these days doing what he is great at and what he plans to do with his life once free – training service dogs for people with special needs.

                Thank you for your continued support.


8 thoughts on “March 2016

  1. ferney

    That’s what they always do they don’t want to know that you are doing right the super intendent wants you to do wrong ….she is the worst superintendent ever…

  2. Amber Peixoto

    I can’t even begin to understand what you’re dealing with. Everything happens for a reason and I truly believe there’s a reason. I do not think you were going to be behind those prison walls long enough to finish training a puppy all the way through their graduation so god decided not to let you get attached to a cute four legged creature again and have to say goodbye. You’re going to get through this and be okay. You are the most amazing, intelligent, and caring man I’ve ever met in my life and I love you Dad. We all do. Stay strong and keep your head held high, we’re all fighting this fight with you and refuse to let them win again.

  3. Joyce Coute

    My dear son has had many ups (very few) and downs (many) and I have been in awe of his determination and unwavering spirit to continue to the end, which is named “freedom”. I have not seen him this shaken since his very early days of being incarcerated. There will be a day when he will walk out of prison, being exonerated and compensated for his wrongful conviction, into the waiting and loving arms of family and friends who have never stopped believing in and supporting him. Please folks Brian needs our support more than ever. It seems the closer we get the more angry and vindictive “they” become. Let’s stand as strong and committed as Brian has been. Let’s show him he’s not alone. Thank you for you support. Brokenhearted Mom

  4. Lisa Hunt

    What a rotten thing to do. I’m sorry for the children who WOULD have had a properly trained service dog by the hands of Brian. Shame on the people who, even if they believe him to be guilty of the crime he is there for, did EXACTLY THE OPPOSITE of encouraging rehabilitation by way of being a productive member of a confined society. I guess that notion is not true.

    I’m sorry this has happened. It’s wrong.

  5. Kevin

    The administrator at MCI Concord should be removed or demoted for his or her actions taken against Brian ! A man has the right to freedom of speech whether behind bars or not! Not to mention the puppy who brian would have trained to aid the special needs or disability impaired person that would have gained so much from these special animals ,due to their own personal agendas . It is not this Administrator’s place to decide weather Brian is guilty or not ! But for a jury of 12 to decide. It’s an injustice to Brian and the NEADS program .

  6. Brenda

    During one of my visits with Brian and Dancer at Christmas time, Brian was telling me about him being outside, while walking Dancer earlier in the day, and he told me he saw a dove (which to Brian is a big thing he doesn’t see many birds) and the dove was sitting on the high wall surrounding the facility and he told me at that moment another dove showed up and sat right next to the other one, Brian told me he started to cry….it made him feel like he wasn’t alone! Of course I burst into tears because my heart aches for him so much! To my surprise Dancer got up and put her head on my lap, she felt every single emotion that I had she looked at me with those big brown eyes with such love, he helped her, but boy she helped him! Keep your head up Brian, this isn’t over!

  7. michael mims

    This is why we need to have the media access these facilities “at will”. I know Brian very well, sat right next to him while I was the Chairman of the Norfolk Lifers’ Group. He is totally dedicated to doing the work needed to shine a light on issues pertaining to his innocence as well as the atrocities inmates go through on a daily basis. I know first hand the hatred the D.O.C. has for the people they are charged to rehabilitate. Sadly, any rehabilitation comes from within the incarcerated person. how can you say you offer programming to those incarcerated when only 2% of the yearly D.O.C. budget goes to programs. Such a failed system, a shame. This “business” should have been shut down or overhauled years ago. I pray Brian finds the relief he very much deserves!! Michael T. Mims


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