Sheriff Hodgson should focus on helping community, not railing against “mystical threats”

Sep 10, 2019

To the Editor: 

The juxtaposition of the two news articles in Thursday's Standard-Times is too significant to ignore.

In one article,  Sheriff Hodgson is testifying at a legislative hearing threatening that allowing undocumented immigrants to have driver's licenses will make the community less safe. The other article highlights the arrest and probation surrender of a repeat offender.

Sheriff Hodgson has one of the highest recidivism rates in Massachusetts, which has been attributed to the lack of programs and medical treatment for those imprisoned in Bristol County jails who are drug addicted, mentally ill or lacking job skills.

The community is less safe when released prisoners have not had their drug addiction, mental illness or lack of job training addressed while in pre-trial or post-trial detention. Additionally, the cost of rehabilitation is far less than the cost of incarcerating repeat offenders.

If Sheriff Hodgson spent his energy, resources and attention to those in his charge and ceased railing against a mythical threat, he would be conforming to his electoral mandate and lowering the real threat to our community.

Betty I. Ussach and Eileen Marum