The absence of statistics regarding the recidivism rate for the Bristol County House of Correction is in itself a reason for harsh criticism of Sheriff Hodgson. After 25 years, an ever-increasing budget, and an expanding staff that numbers in the hundreds, Hodgson should have been measuring the re-offending rate of those incarcerated in his facilities.
Responding that he doesn’t have sufficient funds or staff to compile these figures is disingenuous as the Sheriff’s yearly budget is in the millions, and anyone who is in doubt can easily access this information online.
The very essence and objective of a House of Correction is to foster behavior of a released person that is improved and non threatening to the community. Penalization alone, of the sentenced, or detained, as a crime deterrent has proven ineffective. The removal of freedom, coupled with significant rehabilitative, vocational and re-entry preparation is the proven method to lower the crime rate.
Sheriff Hodgson, not having kept these statistics, is hardly in a position to continually boast that he is keeping the community safe.
By what imaginary standard or measurement, other than self-promotion, can Hodgson claim success as a sheriff?
Betty Ussach is a resident of Dartmouth
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