By Staff reports
August 29, 2013
In the commonwealth of Massachusetts including Worcester County, nearly 40 percent of offenders return to prison within three years of their release. Many offenders reenter society with few resources and little direction, a scenario which often leads to the commission of new crimes and a revolving door in and out of incarceration.
The impact on public safety and public health is enormous. According to the Massachusetts Department of Correction, the annual cost to house an inmate in Massachusetts is nearly $46,000. To improve public safety and reduce recidivism, Worcester County Sheriff Lew Evangelidis is unveiling an After Incarceration Support Services program (AISS) for all of Worcester County.
The Sheriff also announces the opening of the first ever After Incarceration Support Center for Worcester County including an expanded partnership with the Worcester Initiative for Support Reentry (WISR). The mission of the Sheriff’s center as well as the expanded collaborative with WISR is to help guide former prisoners in Worcester County during the reintegration process.
A ribbon cutting ceremony was recently held at the new AISS center at 340 Main St. in Worcester.
” … I am very pleased that we are introducing our new AISS program and partnering with WISR to offer substantive reentry transition services that are essential to our community,” said Sheriff Lew Evangelidis. “With our new AISS program, WISR will connect former inmates to the support services they need so they can live independently, stay out of trouble and stay out of jail.”
WISR in collaboration with the Sheriff’s Office, expects to provide housing and employment services to approximately 35 AISS program participants through December 2013 and will continue to provide support and initiatives to AISS moving forward as well.”