DA’s Community Outreach Talks Reach Audience of 600,000

by | Dec 24, 2021

Worcester County District Attorney Joseph D. Early Jr.’s office has officially reached more than 600,000 people with his crime prevention and community safety programming.

“We are at schools, senior centers and community events across Worcester County nearly every day, presenting on topics such as bullying and cyber bullying, scams and fraud, drugs and alcohol, and texting and driving,” Mr. Early said. “I’ve always said I’d rather prevent a crime than have to solve one. I’m proud to say we’ve officially reached 600,000 residents with this programming, many of them youth.”

The District Attorney’s Community Outreach Team, made up of 10 staff members, presents programming to schools and groups of all sizes by request. These presentations are always free and can be tailored to the specific age range or audience. Our Outreach Team also runs our intern program and manages grant implementations.

The most popular program is bullying and cyber bullying prevention. This program also helps kids understand the importance of protecting their digital footprint and imparts the knowledge that nothing on the internet is ever deleted.

There are two specific programs addressing drugs and alcohol, including “This Is (Not) About Drugs” and “If They Had Known.” The office also has a display called “Hidden In Plain Sight” that shows parents potential warning signs of substance use by their children.

“Early substance use can lead to a lifetime struggle with addiction for our youth,” Mr. Early said. “These evidence-based programs help kids understand the risks associated with all substance use, including prescription medications.”

Scam and fraud education is regularly provided to seniors. New this year, the Outreach Team is also presenting a program called “Creating A Caring Community” to senior housing facilities.

“Our seniors, who have contributed so much to our society, deserve to live without fear of losing their hard-earned money or being bullied or excluded in their social life,” Mr. Early said.

These presentations are coordinated with schools and community partners who share a commitment to protecting residents and preventing crime.

“This level of widespread outreach would not be possible without our dedicated staff,” Mr. Early said. “Thank you to our Outreach Team: Nelson Colon, Kevin Donahue, Elisabeth Haddad, Michael Jennette, Eileen Kneeland, Kevin Lefrancois, Julie Lesure, Ellen Miller, Julie Nonni, Jill Wooldridge and, until recently, Abigail Westerlind.”