Inmates help refurbish Lewiston schools

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LEWISTON — Instead of spending time in jail, 48 participants in the Alternative Sentencing Program completed maintenance projects for the Lewiston School Department, according to William Gagne, chief deputy of the Androscoggin County Sheriff’s Department.

The participants cleaned, landscaped, stripped and waxed floors, and painted walls at The Green Ladle, Lewiston High School, Lewiston Middle School, and at Martel, Longley, McMahon, Geiger and Farwell schools. Over 1,500 man-hours were tallied, saving the School Department thousands of dollars.

Individuals with nonviolent misdemeanor crimes do community service under the Alternative Sentencing Program rather than spend their incarceration in a correctional facility. Each participant pays to attend the program and serves from two to seven days, Gagne said in a news release Monday.

The program allows participants to make a contribution to the community by making use of the time they would be incarcerated. Participants also receive information and listen to guest speakers during their stay, he wrote.

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Gagne said the program also aids correctional facilities such as the Androscoggin County Jail by keeping the inmate population down as much as possible in an already overpopulated jail.

The program is coordinated by Sgt. Victoria Langelier.

The latest session, which ended Aug. 21, was done in conjunction with the Lewiston School Department and included participants from Androscoggin, Oxford, York, Cumberland, Penobscot and Franklin counties.

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