The broken window theory surmizes that one sign of wear and uncared for distress will bring similar mistreatment. The theory that was tested with a broken car window also applies to eliminating graffitti and cleaning in parks; something Middlesex County Sheriff Peter Koutoujian teamed up with Marlborough officials to ensure happened over the summer.
"The mayor understands the broken window theory," said the sheriff who explained even a little graffitti can have an impact. "It breeds crime and it affects a community."
At the request of Mayor Arthur Vigeant, a crew from Sheriff Koutoujian’s Community Work Program (CWP) spent several days at Ward Park clearing weeds, vines and other debris. Additional work was completed at Stevens Park.
This work benefits the city, said Mayor Vigeant.
"The work crew saved the city both money and manpower," he said referring to the estimated $5,000 it saved the city.
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It also benefits the innmates, said Sheriff Koutoujian. These inmates are non-violent and at the end of their prison sentence. They work to get to the point of serving their community, he said, and the work ends up serving them.
"When they leave our facility they will be in a work-a-day mode ... that is really important for successful re-entry," said the sheriff.
An increasing number of communities are taking advantage of this program, said the sheriff. This year, the CWP has saved metrowest-area communities nearly $70,000.