The News Telegram reports that the city of Worcester, MA is taking steps to prevent high risk re-entrants from returning to prison. The Worcester Re-entry Initiative Program (WRIP) works with federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies as well healthcare, addiction services, mental health and workforce agencies to provide support for newly released prisoners who have been identified as having a high risk of re-offending. Faith-based and community organizations are also a part of WRIP.
And while the program was created to offer returning citizens the help they need to transfer successfully back into the community, it is not meant to coddle. Participants are heavily supervised. The News Telegrams quotes Worcester County Sheriff Lewis G. Evangelidis as stating ”This innovative program's effectiveness is built around providing high-risk offenders with a choice of not the usual carrot-and-stick approach, but that of a carrot and hammer, be productive or pay the consequences.”