Newspaper

Mar 23, 2015

Reminder – April 11th WCRDSA Annual Swearing-in Dinner with Governor Charlie Baker

 

Dear Reserve Deputies,

The WCRDSA Annual Swearing-in Dinner to be held on Saturday, April 11th at Pleasant Valley Country Club with special guest Governor Charlie Baker is rapidly approaching!  If you have not returned your renewal notice as well as dinner RSVP please do so by Friday, March 27th to secure your spot as seating is limited.  We are looking forward to seeing everyone and enjoying a wonderful evening!  Thank You!

Mar 23, 2015

Governor’s First Opioid Crisis Listening Session…March 18, 2015

Governor’s First Opioid Crisis Listening Session…March 18, 2015

Members of the Public Gathered To Share Ideas and Perspectives regarding current Opioid Crisis

Submitted by the Office of Worcester County Sheriff Lew Evangelidis

 

Worcester County Sheriff Lew Evangelidis addresses the audience of over 400 people who recently attended Governor Charlie Baker’s 1st Opioid Crisis Listening Session on March 10th in Worcester at Quinsigamond Community College.

Worcester County Sheriff Lew Evangelidis addresses the audience of over 400 people who recently attended Governor   Charlie Baker’s 1st Opioid Crisis Listening Session on March 10th in Worcester at Quinsigamond Community College.

 

As the number of drug overdose deaths in the Commonwealth continues to rise, members of the Opioid Crisis Working Group created by Governor Charlie Baker gathered this past Tuesday, March 10th at Quinsigamond Community College in Worcester for the first of four public listening sessions. Hosted by Worcester County Sheriff Lewis G. Evangelidis, over 400 people attended the event which was designed to gather feedback and ideas on the best ways to halt the current epidemic.

 

“Today’s Opioid Listening Session in Worcester provided an important opportunity to have an open dialogue about the current opioid crisis. Citizens from across the county and the Commonwealth attended today’s forum, we heard from many community members as well as families whose lives have been impacted in some way by addiction. I am hopeful today’s discussion will help to provide crucial initiatives that will halt this epidemic.” said Worcester County Sheriff Lewis G. Evangelidis.

 

“In order to formulate solutions, we need to understand the depth of this devastating problem that is affecting families, friends and neighbors across the Commonwealth,” said Secretary of Health and Human Services and Chair of the Working Group Marylou Sudders. “Today we had a chance to hear directly from those impacted by this issue.”

 

Governor Baker announced the 17-member Working Group on February 19th. The Group is comprised of individuals with diverse backgrounds and experience related to prevention, intervention, treatment, recovery and support and law enforcement. By the end of May, the Group will submit a statewide strategy to combat opioid addiction and curb overdose deaths.

 

“Today in Worcester, we heard from community members, first responders, local leaders and families struggling with the devastating impacts of addiction. This event was yet another powerful example that the disease of addiction does not discriminate – it affects everyone from high school athletes to successful college students and mothers with young children,” AG Maura Healey said. “There is no one-size-fits-all solution to this unprecedented public health epidemic, and we are committed to working together with partners across the state to attack this crisis head on.”
Records from the Department of Public Health show there were 978 opioid-related overdose deaths in Massachusetts in 2013 – that’s a 46 percent jump from the previous year. In Worcester County alone, 29 people have suffered fatal overdoses since January.

 

“Sadly, with the current trends in opioid addiction there will be few families who are untouched by this epidemic within five years. As Sheriff, I see firsthand the devastating impact these addictions have in our communities on a daily basis,” said Worcester County Sheriff Lewis G. Evangelidis.
Public dialogues will be held in various parts of the state with the next one scheduled for Thursday, March 19 from 4-6 p.m. in the dining common at Greenfield Community College in Greenfield. A similar listening session will take place on March 26 at Memorial Hall in Plymouth from 4-6 p.m. The final session will be located in Boston on April 2 at a time/place to be named soon.

 

For those who cannot attend, an email box has been set up to collect comments at AddictionWorkGroup@state.ma.us. For more information about the public dialogues or the Working Group’s meetings visit www.mass.gov/opioids.

Feb 3, 2015

Inmates Help Uncover Leominster Sidewalks

Inmates Help Uncover Leominster Sidewalks

01/29/2015

LEOMINSTER — In the wake of this week’s snow storm, Leominster officials and residents got help with their shoveling from an unexpected source — the nearby prison. 

On Wednesday morning, nearly a dozen inmates showed up in downtown Leominster ready to help the town with snow removal as part of Worcester County Sheriff Lewis Evangelidis’ inmate work program. 

The work program, which existed before Evangelidis but tripled in size when he took office in 2011, allows select inmates at the Worcester County Jail and House of Corrections to do manual labor for local communities and nonprofits. The inmates in the program are all nonviolent offenders who have been pre-screened and are supervised while working. 

“Only our best inmates are part of the program,” Evangelidis said.

Kim Roy, the sheriff’s director of external affairs, explained that crews with three to five men go to a specific job every day, but this snowstorm was an exception.

“We have four inmate work crews out five days a week, and that’s ongoing throughout the year,” Roy said. “But when Mother Nature hits, the sheriff always makes the top priority to avail the work crews to help the municipalities dig out.” 

Roy said two of the four work crews were sent to Worcester today. The other two crews went to Leominster.

“We get in this morning and we’re shoveling away, and all of a sudden the sheriff’s van shows up,” said Leominster Mayor Dean Mazzarella.

“We had over 30 inches of snow, and what a relief to see them.” 

Over the course of the day, the inmates helped to clear several areas downtown, including bus stops, sidewalks, the courthouse steps and parking meters. 

“The trucks can’t get everything, so these guys were able to go behind them and sort of clean up after,” said Mazzarella. 

He said he was very grateful for their help. 

“We thank the sheriff for automatically knowing that we could use the help,” Mazzarella said. “They worked hard. I don’t think they stopped for a minute. They were certainly providing a good public service.” 

Evangelidis said he believes strongly that the work program is in the best interest of all parties. 

“It all contributes to the idea of public safety,” he said. “Communities get to save money, and the inmates gain a sense of self-worth.”

Feb 3, 2015

Inmates help Worcester, Leominster dig out

Inmates help Worcester, Leominster dig out

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Jeffrey Leger of Gardner, right, and other inmates from the Worcester County Jail and House of Correction dig a path to the Green Island Neighborhood Center at Crompton Park in Worcester on Wednesday (T&G Staff/PAUL KAPTEYN)

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From left, Jamie Cote of Grafton, Anthony LaMarche of Worcester and James Ohop of Southbridge, along with other inmates from the Worcester County Jail and House of Correction, dig a path to the Green Island Neighborhood Center at Crompton Park in Worcester on Wednesday. (T&G Staff/PAUL KAPTEYN)

Inmates from the Worcester County Jail and House of Correction in West Boylston helped the cities of Worcester and Leominster dig out from under more than 2 feet of snow Wednesday.

About a dozen inmates who are participants in Sheriff Lewis G. Evangelidis’ Community Service Program spent the morning shoveling out Leominster City Hall, the Leominster District Court building, parking meters in the city and the area of the Common, according to Kimberly Roy, director of external affairs for the sheriff’s office.

In the afternoon, work crews from the program were shoveling snow at Crompton Park in Worcester.

The community service program provides cost-free labor by minimum-security inmates who have been convicted of a nonviolent and non-sexual offense and are within six months of completing their sentence. The inmates are monitored at all times by an armed officer.

“It benefits the communities, as well as the inmates,” Ms. Roy said of the program. Cities and towns save money on labor costs, according to Ms. Roy.

“And it gives the inmates a sense of giving back to the community and helps them with re-entry, as well. It’s the ultimate win-win,” she said.

“We had over 30 inches of snow, and what a relief to see them,” Leominster Mayor Dean J. Mazzarella said of the inmates who helped out. “We thank the sheriff for automatically knowing that we could use the help. The prisoners worked hard all day and made a huge improvement.”

Ms. Roy said Sheriff Evangelidis makes the needs of area communities a top priority of his community service program whenever a major storm strikes.

State courts in all but Berkshire, Franklin, Hampden and Hampshire counties were closed for a second day Wednesday because of the storm. State courts across Massachusetts were shut down Tuesday and only those in the four western counties, which were less affected by the storm, reopened Wednesday.

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