By: Elaine Thompson, Telegram Staff, April 2, 2020
WEST BOYLSTON — Worcester County Sheriff Lewis G. Evangelidis is preparing a list of inmates who might be considered for early release because of risks presented by the coronavirus crisis. But he said there are very few who would be appropriate to be put back on the streets early.
The short list is in anticipation of a decision by the state Supreme Judicial Court on a proposal to release certain inmates from detention across the state.
“We’re looking at the overall public safety,” Evangelidis said, noting that inmates considered for release would be evaluated on criteria including dangerousness. “Frankly, I would find that very few would be appropriate for early release.”
Evangelidis and David H. Tuttle, superintendent of the Worcester County Jail and House of Correction, said in a phone interview Wednesday that since the Legislature passed criminal justice reform, many non-violent offenders have avoided prison, some being sent to diversion programs instead.
People being sentenced to prison now have a lot more violent convictions on their records and would not be suitable for early release, they said. The West Boylston facility, which can hold 1,252 inmates, on Monday had 743.