FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
February 5, 2015
CONTACT: Peter Van Delft
Boston – As Suffolk County continues to dig out from record breaking snow storms, the Suffolk County Sheriff’s Department’s Community Works Program has kicked into high gear, deploying teams of inmate workers and Deputy Sheriffs to help remove tons of snow from handicap ramps, sidewalks, crosswalks and city streets.
“Our mission is to make sure inmates leave us with increased chances of finding employment, housing and successfully re–entering the community,” said Suffolk County Sheriff Steven W. Tompkins. “The Community Works Program helps inmates gain experience and skills that they can use to get a good job, and it provides them with a chance to give back to the community by providing a valuable public service. It’s a win–win for the inmates, their families and the people of Suffolk County.”
The Community Works Program (CWP) helps inmates gain work experience and build valuable skills that can help remove barriers they face to employment when their sentences are complete. Under the supervision of Deputy Sheriffs, inmates are assigned to tasks such as cleaning vacant lots, beautifying roadway intersections, painting street lamps and boarding and securing abandoned homes. CWP staff respond to requests for assistance from municipal governments, non–profits and the Commonwealth. Inmates volunteer to participate in CWP and must meet strict classification standards be selected for the program.
In the last week, CWP workers have assisted with snow removal at locations in Boston and Revere including:
Deputy Sheriffs maintain constant supervision of inmates when they are out on work details and provide on–site training to the workers.
“The Deputies who supervise CWP details regularly go above and beyond their normal duties to make the program work, and that has never been more true than in the last week,” said Assistant Deputy Superintendent Heather McNeil, who oversees the program. “Since the snow started falling last week, the staff and officers who run this program have been working virtually around the clock to respond to requests from local governments and prepare the crews to go out and get the job done.”
Boston Mayor Marty Walsh and Revere Mayor Dan Rizzo praised the efforts of the CWP work crews.
“Creating opportunities for our inmates to give back to our community is an important component in successful re–entry,” said Mayor Walsh. “I am thrilled that the City is able to partner with the Suffolk County Sheriff’s Office to assist in snow removal in areas critical to the safety of our residents.”
“When the tornado hit Revere last year, the Sheriff’s Department’s crews were among the first to lend a hand to our recovery efforts, and the help they have given us in the last week has been greatly appreciated,” said Mayor Dan Rizzo. “The men and women who work for the City of Revere are fantastic and they make me proud every day, but in times of need, it’s good to know that the Sheriff’s Department has our back.”
Inmates are offenders who have been sentenced to terms of two and a half years or less, and most serve their terms at the Suffolk County House of Correction. The Nashua Street Jail is used to house detainees who are awaiting trial. CWP workers are housed at the House of Correction.