DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTION COMMUNITY WORK CREWS JOIN WITH DEPARTMENT OF CONSERVATION AND RECREATION TO PREPARE ESPLANADE FOR FOURTH OF JULY FESTIVITIES
Milford (July 2012)— Massachusetts Department of Correction Community Work Crews have been busy working on the Esplanade and surrounding areas along the Charles River in preparation for Boston's spectacular Fourth of July celebration this week. For several years now, the Department of Correction (DOC) has provided inmate work crews to the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) during this period in order to prepare for the hundreds-of-thousands expected to gather along the Charles River over the holiday week.
The inmate crews providing services this week have been picking up trash, setting up chairs and barricades, mowing grass, and providing other beautification projects in preparation for this week’s events. After the concert, the crews will move in shortly after the crowds have left and work throughout the overnight hours to remove tons of trash and restore the Esplanade to a pristine condition for those visiting the next day.
Again this year, the DOC Community Work Crews have an additional initiative-- recycling. They will recycle all cardboard and plastic bottles. The trash picked up will be processed at a DOC facility and kept out of local landfills. The recycling initiative was introduced in 2008 for DOC community work crews, who have been in operation for over 19 years. In 2011, community work crews picked up 43.99 tons of trash, recycling 3 tons, from Boston’s 4th of July Esplanade extravaganza.
In 2011, 355 community work crews provided one million work hours saving the Commonwealth $8.1 million. The DOC has provided inmate work crews to the Boston marathon, Walk for Hunger, AIDS Walk, JP Morgan Corporate Challenge, Head of the Charles Regatta, Pan Mass Challenge, as well as to the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation, Emerald Necklace Conservatory, Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency to assist in cleanup projects following several major storms, as well as cities and towns throughout the Commonwealth.
DOC work crews are minimum security inmates nearing release or parole eligibility. They are supervised on site by DOC Correction Officers and staff. The work experience allows inmates an opportunity to return something positive to the community during their incarceration as well as learn responsibility. Inmates engaged in work release and programming improve their ability for successful reentry when the return to their communities upon release. Reentry is sound public policy which promotes public safety. Additionally, at a time when cities and towns are struggling with resources, these crews have played an important role in performing work that might otherwise not be done.