WORCESTER COUNTY SHERIFF'S OFFICE
Lew Evangelidis was elected Worcester County Sheriff in 2010. Since taking the oath of office, Sheriff Evangelidis remains committed to running the Sheriff’s Office based on two principles: professionalism and public safety. As Worcester County Sheriff, Evangelidis has implemented the highest hiring standards in corrections in the Commonwealth and thus ending the culture of politics and patronage at the jail.
While overseeing the care, custody, and control of the Jail and House of Correction, Sheriff Evangelidis introduced new, comprehensive mental health, substance use, and reentry programming to help address the 90% of inmates who enter the facility and struggle with addiction. Additionally, Evangelidis implemented preventive youth programming through the creation of the Face2Face Drug and Alcohol Program and other community based initiatives.
In 2015, Sheriff Evangelidis was appointed, by Governor Baker, to the Massachusetts Port Authority Board of Directors, where he currently serves as chairman. His previous public service includes serving as Assistant State Attorney in Miami-Dade County, FL, Assistant District Attorney in Suffolk County, MA, and eight years as a State Representative in the Massachusetts State Legislature.
Sheriff Evangelidis graduated from the University of Massachusetts Amherst with Bachelor of Science in economics and from Temple University School of Law where he received his Juris Decorate.
Lew Evangelidis is honored to serve as Sheriff in the largest county in Massachusetts with 60 cities/towns and more than 800,000 residents.
History of the Worcester County Sheriff's Office
Sheriff Evangelidis was elected in 2010 and serves as the 28th sheriff of Worcester County representing the largest county in Massachusetts with 60 cities and towns and more than 800,000 residents. The Worcester County Sheriff’s Office has a rich history, which predates the establishment of our nation.
Forty years after the colonies settled into Massachusetts Bay and Plymouth, a young Worcester County government was established. In 1732, the county’s first jail, the Lincoln Street Jail and House of Correction, opened in the Heart of the Commonwealth, Worcester, under Sheriff Daniel Gookin.
In 1819, the Summer Street House of Correction was established. Soon, the small structure became overcrowded due to indigent, inebriated, orphaned, and mentally ill individuals being housed with the criminal population. In 1835, the Summer Street Jail and House of Correction was built to replace the recently demolished Lincoln Street Jail.
In 1873, the Summer Street Jail and House of Correction underwent a $192,000 renovation to expand its housing capacity to 200 inmates and create space for staff apartments, a hospital wing, and library. The jail stood for more than 130 years and was at one point the oldest operating jail in the country.
In 1973, the Summer Street Jail and House of Correction closed and the Worcester County Jail and House of Correction opened in West Boylston. Housing consisted of Maximum and Minimum Security Units, Women’s Quarters, and Work Release. In 1979, women were relocated to MCI Framingham and the Women’s Quarters building was renamed “Mini-5.”
Neighboring the Worcester County Jail and House of Correction, the Worcester County Sanatorium was built in 1933 to address the tuberculosis epidemic of the time. The hospital was one of two in the county and housed patients throughout the 1930s and 1940s. However, as the disease was eradicated from the introduction of a vaccine and antibiotics, the hospital’s population dwindled and then eventually closed its doors all together.
In 1985, the building once used to house nurses was converted into the MSF Housing building for inmates and the hospital superintendent’s house was turned into the Worcester County Sheriff Office’s (WCSO) Training and Command Center. In 2004, the main hospital structure was demolished.
Additions to the Main Jail began in the early 1990s with the construction of the Herman and Deignan Buildings. At the same time, the Sheriff’s Office was beginning to shift their focus to the reentry of inmates into the community with the opening of the Worcester Community Opportunity Advancement Program (COAP). In 1993, the MSF Housing building closed and in 1995 the jail renovated the old County Hospital power plant building to create the first MSF Annex building.
In the late 1990s, the Modular Compound was opened to serve as a temporary housing solution. In 1997, the Fitchburg COAP office opened. In 1998, the Worcester County Government was abolished and the WCSO annual budget was funded by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
In June 2002, a new MSF Annex was opened to house at-risk inmates. In 2004, WCSO’s third resource center, the Webster Regional Resource Center, opened its doors to the community. However, the same year, both the Fitchburg and Worcester COAP office’s began operating under the Office of Community Corrections. In 2007, female inmates from Worcester County began to be housed at Western Massachusetts Regional Women's Correctional Center in Chicopee.
In 2010, Sheriff Evangelidis was elected Worcester County Sheriff and has remained in the position since. In May 2021, the jail’s new Medical/Intake Building opened and now offers comprehensive medical and dental treatment to inmates.