U.S. Sen. John Cornyn, the second ranking Republican in the Senate, met face-to-face with inmates in the Dallas County Jail this week.

Cornyn, in Dallas to receive an award and participate in a panel on Tuesday, dropped in on the jail’s Home for Hounds program in which inmates train dogs to be adopted.

“When they get out of jail, hopefully they’ll remember this experience of learning how to work together which is something they may not have done before and learn a little compassion in the process,” said Cornyn to WFAA.

The Grand Prairie Paws Adoption Shelter partnered with the jail to provides the dogs. Inmates must apply for the opportunity to train them for adoption.

“I think it’s an opportunity for these inmates, who’ve ended up here for a reason, to demonstrate they can be responsible not only for themselves but also for the dogs and actually demonstrate some patience and self-control,” explained Cornyn. “Some of them talked about teaching the dogs impulse control. That’s something we could all learn a little bit more of.”

Cornyn has long advocated for criminal justice reform including reducing mandatory minimum sentences for nonviolent offenders.

He was honored at a luncheon inside the Dallas Omni Hotel on Tuesday and participated in an on-stage panel with leaders from the Prison Fellowship.

The Texas Republican is also a guest on WFAA's Inside Texas Politics this Sunday. Among other things, Cornyn graded one aspect of the Trump presidency. Watch the interview Sunday morning at 9 on WFAA.