Inmates Paint Westborough Senior Center, Clear Snow

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Left to right: Senior Center custodian Jim Ballard, Sheriff Lew Evangelidis and WCSO officer Jason Firmin stand on a recently shoveled walkway outside of the senior center. Photo Credit: Contributed

WESTBOROUGH, Mass. — The kitchen of the Westborough Senior Center recently received a fresh coat of paint from an unexpected source: state inmates. 

As part of the Worcester County Sheriff's Office Inmate Community Service Program run by Sheriff Lew Evangelidis, a work crew was sent to the senior center to paint, while also clearing sidewalks of snow from the recent storm. 

“We truly appreciate Sheriff Evangelidis providing the Inmate Community Service Program to paint our kitchen at the senior center and to remove snow from our walk ways as well," Senior Center Director Alma DeManche said in a news release. "The Sheriff’s inmate work crew was very respectful and did an outstanding job and we are very grateful for the many thousands of dollars this program has saved us in labor and maintenance costs."

The program, championed by Evangelidis since he took office in 2011, is intended to help "budget-strapped cities" in Worcester County. According to a press release, the program has saved Worcester County approximately $3 million and resulted in the completion of more than 1,000 projects. 

"As Sheriff it’s a pleasure to provide the Westborough Senior Center with no cost labor from the Inmate Community Service Program to apply a fresh coat of paint to the their kitchen area," Evangelidis said in the release, noting that the labor saved the Senior Center about $8,000. 

The program's work force comprises non-violent, non-sex offender inmates who have earned a place in the program. In addition to the savings provided for the town and residents, the inmates learn "job skills and a sense of self worth and dignity that comes from a productive day's work," said the release. 

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