BILLERICA, Mass. — Middlesex Sheriff Peter J. Koutoujian has launched a new program designed to provide inmates battling addiction an opportunity to hear from community members about the effects of substance abuse on families, careers and communities.
Social and political humorist — and Middlesex County native — Jimmy Tingle kicked off the Monday Moments Speaker Series October 26, addressing a group of 60 inmates.
“I quit drinking 27 years ago,” said Tingle, explaining why he agreed to be the first Monday Moments speaker. “I wanted to give some hope and carry a message to the alcohol and drug treatment program [participants] that things can get better.”
“It’s important for those in our custody battling addiction to not only interact with our treatment and medical staffs, but also to hear from others who have overcome their own addictions, as well as those who have lost loved ones to addiction,” said Koutoujian. “My hope is Monday Moments will serve as a spark for constructive dialogue and reflection for those in our treatment program.”
Koutoujian credits Tingle for planting the original seed for what has become Monday Moments.
“We were having a conversation and he offered to come speak to inmates,” said Koutoujian. “That got me thinking about how we could not only bring in guests to talk on occasion, but how we could create a series which would fit with our goal of preparing these men to successfully re-enter the community at the end of their sentence.”