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Worcester County Sheriff Lew Evangelidis is shown with Gardner High School Principal Paula Bolger and WCSO Officer James Firmin in front of newly painted hallway at Gardner High School.  Evangelidis recently provided inmate work crew to complete extensive interior painting work during the school’s summer break.  

Worcester County Sheriff Lew Evangelidis discusses with Gardner High School Principal Paula Bolger all the projects completed at the school by the WCSO Inmate Community Service Program as an inmate puts a fresh coat of paint on the cafeteria wall.


By: The Gardner News – July 3, 2019

GARDNER — Committed to making a positive difference both inside the Worcester County Jail & House of Correction and in the community, Worcester County Sheriff Lew Evangelidis has been providing inmate work crews to assist budget-strapped cities and towns all over Worcester County.

The Sheriff’s Inmate Community Service Program provides cost-free labor to municipalities and nonprofit organizations by nonviolent, non-sex offender individuals who have earned a place in the program.

Since taking office in January 2011, Evangelidis has more than tripled the size of the Inmate Community Service Program, providing Worcester County communities with $8 million in savings along with thousands of work projects completed. In the sheriff’s expanded program, inmates learn job skills and gain a sense of self-worth and dignity that comes from a productive day’s work. Meanwhile, the recipients — hundreds of local nonprofit organizations and municipalities from throughout the county — have had projects completed by the inmate work crews that they could not have afforded otherwise.

Most recently, the sheriff’s inmate work program spent the week working at Gardner High School painting the hallways and trim work during the school’s summer break. On a previous visit, the cafeteria was given a fresh coat of paint by the work crews. In August, the auditorium will get painted as well. Under Evangelidis, the inmate work program has provided more than $30,000 in savings in labor and maintenance costs for Gardner High School.

“This program is a tremendous help to our school. The fresh paint in our cafeteria, hallways and trim work looks great,” said Gardner High School Principal Paula Bolger. “Having the inmate labor saves us an extraordinary amount of time, manpower and money to get these projects done, and we cannot thank the sheriff enough for helping us out each year. It’s so great to see the inmates benefit from the program as well.”

“In addition to our primary responsibility of public safety, our department is also proud to serve as a resource for Worcester County cities and towns,” Evangelidis said. “Through our inmate community service program, we not only save millions of dollars for our local communities, but promote the idea that the inmates who work in this program … are people trying to turn their lives around. These individuals have earned their way into this program, are giving back, and the community benefits as well. With thousands of projects already completed county-wide, this week we were happy to help out at Gardner High School. It’s a true win-win program.”

For more information on the sheriff’s Inmate Community Service Program, contact the Worcester County Sheriff’s Office at 508-854-1801 or visit