NORTHBRIDGE, Mass. – A group of inmates participating in Worcester County Sheriff Lewis G. Evangelidis' community service program were at the American Legion Hall on Church Street for two days this week.
Paint brushes in hand, they put a few finishing touches on the building’s facelift that began a couple of months ago when Northbridge Community Television entered into a rental agreement with the American Legion board of directors.
Harry Berkowitz, a volunteer with NCTV and a board member of the American Legion, said the work of the inmates is saving NCTV about $2,000.
Evangelidis said Northbridge residents saved more than $48,000 in the past year because of the Inmate Community Service Project.
In addition to the Legion hall, inmates over the past year painted and landscaped the Department of Public Works on Fletcher Street, painted the fence around Northbridge Town Hall and did some painting at Trinity Episcopal Church.
“This is good for you and it’s good for these guys,’’ Evangelidis said as he toured the Legion hall with Berkowitz and talked to the inmates about their plans for the future.
One inmate said he would be released on Friday, just in time for the Super Bowl. Jailed for a substance abuse problem, he said, his plan is to find treatment for his addiction with the help of the sheriff’s office.
Another inmate who will be free in April said his parents have assured him he has their support.
Only non-violent offenders are eligible to participate in the community service program, most of them jailed, directly, or indirectly, because of their addiction to drugs and/or alcohol.