Opinion: A sheriff who will reduce crime and taxpayer expenses

Jun 19, 2022

To the editor:

For over 25 years the voters in Bristol County have been subjected to, and enticed by,  Sheriff Thomas Hodgson’s tough on crime position that has not only contributed to an increased crime rate but has also cost taxpayers millions of dollars in unnecessary and enduring expenses.

The recidivism rate can be reduced, it has been proven, by programs that incentivize the incarcerated to learn a trade, eliminate their dependency on drugs, maintain treatment for mental illness and keeping close contact with their families.

Sheriff Hodgson, it has been repeatedly reported, has offered few rehabilitative programs, vocational courses or  participated  in proven drug treatment modes, and has always deterred meaningful visitation and telephone contact of the incarcerated with their families.

As a result of Hodgson’s “tough on crime” stance Bristol County has not been safer, as the recidivism rates have always been high. Providing insufficient food, an unhealthful physical environment, virtually no meaningful and productive programming has only de-incentivized the incarcerated from leading productive lives upon release from jail.

Sheriff Hodgson’s other publicly declared, but disproven, claim is that he is mindful of taxpayers expenses. As recently as May 24, 2022 Hodgson it was reported on GBH was quoted as saying “It has always been my belief as the Sheriff of Bristol County that one of my most fundamental responsibilities is to minimize the burden on taxpayers for the rising cost of prison operations.”

The irony of the enormous enduring  taxpayer expenses, he has caused, is not lost on the thousands of Bristol County residents who are being enlightened as to the true cost of Sheriff Hodgson. The many millions paid in attorney’s fees, the purchase or acquisition of unnecessary military weaponry and vehicles, the inflated pension appointments and most of all the incalculable cost of recidivism to the community all belie Hodgson’s oft stated minimizing taxpayer expenses.

The voters can finally register their unwillingness to be deceived by Hodgson in November when they can elect a new sheriff who will be truthful, non hypocritical, and will lower recidivism and taxpayers expenses.

Betty Ussach,