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Letter: Facts matter Sheriff Hodgson

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Photo courtesy of Josh Souza

On Sunday, December 12, 2021, a group of concerned residents marched and gathered at the Ash St. Jail in New Bedford to voice their concern about the inhumane conditions at this antiquated and dilapidated facility in New Bedford. Representatives of various organizations and churches participated, and several members addressed the group with information about the appalling state of this jail.

Despite Sheriff Hodgson’s recent, and historical comments, about the great conditions at the Ash Street jail and the positive accreditations he purports to have received from various organizations, the recent inspection report of the Massachusetts Department of Public Health belie his assertions.

As recently as a week ago and then again on Sunday, as he sat in his car observing the rally, Hodgson claimed that Ash Street has received many positive reviews. What he always fails to mention is that these organizations are supported by their yearly fees and other expenses paid by sheriffs, including Hodgson.

The real unbiased and telling reports are produced by the Mass. DPH which is mandated to conduct bi yearly inspections of all prisons and jails in the state.

On November 23, 2021, the DPH conducted an inspection and released a report the next day that cited over 82 health and safety violations at the Ash St. Jail. Included in these violations were damaged or dirty cells, unsanitary food handling, damaged mattresses, dirty shower stalls, and a host of other identified violations including “a main exterior door not vermin proof” in the food service area.

Additionally, and probably of most significance is that many of the cells and shower areas were “offline” and therefore unavailable for inspection.

Having been given notice of the impending inspection, it is reported from various sources, that the staff feverishly and superficially cleaned and painted sections of the jail and, it would appear, probably closed off the most offensive cells and showers to avoid being noted for violations.

It is too many years beyond the point where this unsafe, unhealthy and dilapidated building be closed down and no longer utilized to punish the incarcerated who are primarily pre-trial detained, being processed or serving sentences for misdemeanors. These people, who are housed in these appalling conditions, and the staff that work in this environment, should be transferred at once to other facilities.

Anyone who cares sufficiently about this shameful situation can write or call the Massachusetts Department of Public Health Sanitation Program, or their state legislators, to demand action to remedy this blight upon our county.

All of the inspection reports from the Massachusetts DPH, through the years, are posted online and clearly indicate health and safety violations, many repeat and never corrected.

Betty Ussach, Dartmouth

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15 Comments

15 Comments

  1. JonSenior

    December 26, 2021 at 4:15 pm

    That’s the tip of the iceberg. Advanced notice of audits and inspections is nothing compared to what has transpired at BCSO

  2. MitzySkritzy

    December 26, 2021 at 5:20 pm

    Oh no; the poor criminals aren’t even cleaning their own toilets. Can you bleeding hearts stop acting like these prisoners are victims. Many of them have left trails of victims on the outside of these prison walls. Food shelter and the love of one another, what more do they need? Hodgson is a folk hero in many parts of the country. Move these low life criminals into Betty’s neighborhood. Find a hobby, get a second job Betty. If you want to advocate for criminals offer your legal services, otherwise let the expert(Hodgson) do his job without suffering your misplaced concern!

    • Tina

      December 26, 2021 at 9:37 pm

      I hope you understand that past violations including heat or air conditioning not working ect has also endangered staff. FOOL.Remember Corrections officers are locked down during their shifts under these same conditions as well. Why don’t you do a shift or two and tell me how your working enviroment is unhealthy

      • MitzySkritzy

        December 27, 2021 at 1:54 am

        Why not just let me do a shift as Brandon too, then I can bitch and moan about that! Don’t stop there I’ll do a shift as a surgeon! Great argument you make Tina, who is the real fool here?

      • Patty

        December 27, 2021 at 4:05 am

        Ignore this 🤡 all he does is cry and bitch on comment boards while he brags about his 3 matchbox cars and career at McDonalds

        • MitzySkritzy

          December 27, 2021 at 8:44 am

          Great comments on the letter Catty I’m positive any problems at the jail will now be solved. Now to your problem of being constantly soaked in cat urine while you are fixated on the Mitzy. Your obsession with me has become boring. Maybe there is a space for you and your litter at the Hotel Hodgson. I’m sure the smell of your urine soaked couch will be exasperated when the AC goes down in the summer heat. At this point the Governor could declare an emergency and shut down the jail. Problem solved, now if we could only remove the cat urine smell from your hair. Better call in NASA for this problem!

          • Patty

            December 27, 2021 at 9:51 am

            This coming from a 🤡 like you that spends all day crying on comment sections 😂😂😂😂😂

        • MitzySkritzy

          December 27, 2021 at 12:57 pm

          You still wreak of cat piss!

          • Patty

            December 27, 2021 at 1:52 pm

            Play with your matchbox cars 🤡

          • MortisMaximus

            December 27, 2021 at 4:41 pm

            Wow, what kind of sick person is this Patty? They follow your every comment. You’ve got a stalker…

    • Darcy paton

      December 28, 2021 at 12:55 pm

      You r a fuck. You have no idea what goes on in there. Whether you murdered someone or stole a piece of candy. They r all housed together. There are sucides that go unreported. Think of the families. Its not their fault loved ones go astray. Hodgson is a catholic puke. Like Biden. Shame on you all. Take a stand against this man and this place needs to be closed down. Only one benefiting is the sheriff and the power hungry people who work there. The back suits you think they own the place. WAKE UP YOU IDIOTS. THIS MAN IS KILLING OUR UNMATES.

      • MitzySkritzy

        December 28, 2021 at 3:48 pm

        What an unhinged lunatic you are. Why don’t we close all the prisons and defund all the police so your “people” can prey upon the weak. How many inmates overdose on drugs, is this Hodgsons fault too? Unfortunate for you and your kind we are still a nation of laws. Commit the crime and do your time. Maybe you criminals should think of your families and those families who you perpetrate your crimes upon before acting the fool. Go take your meds now you liberal 🐖…

  3. david

    December 26, 2021 at 11:59 pm

    LOL… The Jail is not up to ‘Betty the Karen’ standards !

    The real reason the Sheriff Hodgson is the target of the nasty left and the fraudulent ‘activist’ groups is that the Sheriff dared to hold violent, illegal alien felons in the Jail for ICE to pick up and possibly deport.
    Sheriff Hodgson assumed it would be better if violent, out of control, dangerous illegal aliens were not roaming the streets of New Bedford and other communities.
    The best way for inmates at the jail to manage the less than pristine conditions is to not become an inmate. 99% of us manage to get through life without ever being held in a jail.

  4. Ken Masson

    May 6, 2022 at 10:42 am

    There is a better alternative and it’s time this hateful fascist old man retires. For the past 20 years there really hasn’t been an alternative and now we have somebody with the experience, education, proven leadership skills to be a better more effective sheriff.

    https://www.paulheroux.org/about-paul.html

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