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The Grafton News
Published 7:00 a.m. ET Aug. 2, 2022

WEST BOYLSTON — Worcester County Sheriff Lew Evangelidis has announced that the Worcester County Jail and House of Correction is an FY23 Department of Elementary and Secondary Education Adult Education in Correctional Institutions grant recipient. With this grant award, the Worcester County Jail and House of Correction will receive $385,000 to expand and continue providing inmate educational opportunities within its West Boylston correctional facility.

The funding will allow for the continuance and expansion of innovative re-entry programs that improve and accelerate educational and training outcomes for adult learners at the correctional facility. Current funding only allows for 50 seats to be offered to inmates. With this grant funding, the number of available seats will increase to 100. Additionally, the program will now be offered to pretrial individuals.

The expansion of these programs will be geared towards an overall reduction in recidivism rates as well as increased rates of successful re-entry.

“This grant will positively impact many programs. Included on that list are the department’s digital Literacy, Electrical Wiring, and General Adult Basic Education courses. The courses are offered through our partnership with Quinsigamond Community College,” said Director of Education Lisa Gobi.

If inmates successfully pass these courses, they are able to apply their earned certificate towards college credits after serving their sentenced time. The incentive is intended to establish an educational foundation for inmates and set them on a track to better their lives after incarceration.

“The most effective way to keep people out of prison once they leave is through education and job skills,” said Evangelidis. “This work provides life-changing educational opportunities to our inmates. However, inmates must want to invest in themselves. Through educational and vocational opportunities, we are working to keep these men from coming back.”

“The awarded funds will bolster the course offerings here at the Worcester County Jail and House of Correction,” said Gobi. “The demand for these programs is growing and the staff here is ready to rise to the challenge to meet the needs.”