Worcester Sheriff's New Inmate Program Aims To Reduce Recidivism

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Worcester County Sheriff Lew Evangelidis addresses inmates at the Worcester County Jail & House of Correction.
Worcester County Sheriff Lew Evangelidis addresses inmates at the Worcester County Jail & House of Correction. Photo Credit: Worcester County Sheriff's Office

WEST BOYLSTON, Mass. – A new reform program implemented by Sheriff Lew Evangelidis is helping Worcester County inmates work to a better life after incarceration.

The Anger Management and Relapse Prevention is a voluntary and highly-demanding 10-week certificate completion course that provides inmates with a clinical approach to dealing with anger management and substance abuse behavioral issues.

"With almost 90 percent of our inmates today behind bars due to addictions to drugs and alcohol, our new program takes direct aim at those behavioral issues which lead to incarceration," said the sheriff.

“Facilitated by our very dedicated education and substance abuse counselors, these new clinical and cutting edge programs have remodeled and reformed an ineffective and outdated approach to relapse and recidivism with a very effective and disciplined approach to positive community re-entry with our inmates," said Evangelidis. ”Our new certificate completion program is highly demanding, and as Sheriff I will only make this resource available to those incarcerated individuals who are willing to meet me half way.”

To date, there have been three courses since they were introduced by the Sheriff last spring. Of the 274 inmates who participated in the new curriculum, 206 graduated with their certificate of completion.

New Hampshire native and inmate Brain Doubleday, who at age 42 is a “chronic relapse” and repeat offender, said he sees a better life after incarceration and parole thanks to the Sheriff’s new program.

“I now have much better skills to help me cope with the pressures of the outside world, before I would easily give in to the temptations of drug and alcohol use which has always resulted in me serving time, now I will stop and think twice about what I have learned here first," said Doubleday. "This is by far the most effective jail program I have ever been part of and I am looking forward to becoming a better citizen after my release.”

“With more than 6,000 inmates coming through the doors of this correctional facility each year, as Sheriff it is my goal with the new Anger Management and Relapse Prevention Program to make our Worcester County communities safer by stopping the cycle of repeat offenders while transitioning inmates into becoming more productive citizens upon their release. Ultimately, the success of this program will be measured by the crimes that are never committed,” said Evangelidis.

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Getting the convicts integrated back into society reduce costs.