Sheriff’s Inmate Community Service Program used to spruce up Athol for 250th anniversary

The Athol Daily News

ATHOL — Responding to a request from town officials, Worcester County Sheriff Lewis G. Evangelidis recently provided free inmate labor through the Sheriff’s Inmate Community Service Program to the town of Athol for some much needed painting of its landmark Main Street ornamental light fixtures and spring clean up of its historic downtown area.

The project provides the town’s taxpayers with over $5,000 in savings and comes as town officials and residents prepare for Athol’s 250th anniversary celebrations.

The inmate work release crews provided by the sheriff are made up of nonviolent, non-sex offender individuals approaching the end of their sentences who have earned a place in the Inmate Community Service Program.The caption to a recent photo, published in the Athol Daily News, of the inmates working downtown incorrectly referred to them as being deployed through the Franklin County Sheriff’s Department.

Since taking office last year, Evangelidis has more than doubled the size of the Inmate Community Service Program and in 2011 provided inmate work crews to complete projects at Athol’s Senior Center and Housing Authority, resulting in a significant savings of over $20,000 dollars for the town.

“As Sheriff, I always enjoy spending time in Athol, especially as the town prepares for its 250th anniversary celebration,” said Evangelidis recently. “Providing town officials with work crews from the Inmate Community Service Program is a true win-win for Athol and for the Sheriff’s Department. With local communities continuing to struggle during these tough fiscal times, our inmate work crews are able to complete worthy projects at little or no cost to the town, resulting in a significant savings for taxpayers while inmates who are selected for the program appreciate the opportunity of a productive day’s work.”

Evangelidis added, “The Inmate Community Service Program is a great asset for our local communities and as sheriff I will continue to provide this much needed and valuable resource to the cities and towns throughout Worcester County.”

“We can not thank Sheriff Evangelidis enough for providing the Inmate Community Service Program to the town of Athol,” said selectboard chair Susannah Whipps Lee. “The sheriff’s inmate work crews have done a tremendous job completing the much needed painting of our Main Street light fixtures and spring clean up of our downtown area in anticipation of our 250th anniversary celebration.
Thanks to the sheriff’s Inmate Community Service Program, our Senior Center, Housing Authority and now our historic downtown area have had much needed improvements completed without spending a dime of taxpayer money, saving Athol well over $25,000. This is truly an amazing program which has provided a great benefit and substantial cost savings to our community.”

For more information on the sheriff’s Inmate Community Service Program, contact the Worcester County Sheriff’s Office at 508-854-1938 or visit worcestercountysheriff.com.