Protesters to March to Ash Street Jail Demanding Sheriff’s Resignation
A community organization opposed to the policies and practices of Bristol County Sheriff Thomas Hodgson is calling on the sheriff to resign.
Bristol County for Correctional Justice (BCCJ) is staging a march and demonstration on January 18 in New Bedford, demanding Hodgson turn in his badge.
Sheriff Hodgson and one of his harshest critics sparred on WBSM on Saturday in separate interviews on the Brian Thomas program.
Joe Quiqly of BCCJ said Hodgson is denying basic health care to inmates and is exploiting families through over-priced phone calls.
"There's a lot of legal organizations now that are after him for different things," said Quiqly. "He's always got lawsuits going and it's costing us a fortune in the county."
Hodgson dismissed such criticism from Quiqly and others in his organization, claiming they don't know the facts. The sheriff said his facilities are nationally accredited and both the House of Correction and the Ash Street Jail have been audited many times.
"We're one of the best in the nation and that's because I have an amazing staff who pays attention to the inmates, pays attention to details," Hodgson said, adding the House of Correction offers one of the best mental health programs in the Commonwealth.
Quiqly said the sheriff should resign because he has failed as a jailer and spends too much time in Washington on the taxpayers' dime.
"Quite a few times you'll see reports that he's in Washington at some sort of an organization meeting, standing with other sheriffs, and pictures of him standing with the president." Quiqly said. He said that's all paid for by Massachusetts taxpayers but that's not the sheriff's job.
Sheriff Hodgson said some of those trips are paid for by a national sheriff's organization, while others are paid for by the taxpayers. Hodgson believes law enforcement and discussions about immigration are very much his job.
"My job is public safety. I'm not going to apologize for working with Washington. If the administration is bringing sheriffs from around the country to make our neighborhoods safer, I'm going to be there," said Hodgson. According to the sheriff, it's money well spent.
Next weekend's march and protest will take place on Saturday from 1-3 p.m. The march will start at 105 William Street and continue to the Ash Street Jail at Union and Ash Street.