Heroux Will Be Effective, Not Cruel
I write to provide two basic comparisons between 25-year incumbent Sheriff Hodgson, and his opponent, Mayor of Attleboro, Paul Heroux, candidate for sheriff of Bristol County.
First, it is important that the candidate you entrust with your vote should share your values.
Hodgson has aligned himself with white supremacist organizations, such as the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR).
He devalues human life. He robs inmates of their dignity and hope by making their lives unbearable, giving them food that is unfit to eat, by making it very difficult to communicate with family and by failing to treat mental illness and addictions that might have led to their incarceration in the first place.
It is no wonder he has the highest suicide rate in the state, noting the two recent incidents — one suicide and one attempted suicide. He doesn’t run a House of Correction. He runs a House of Horrors.
Paul Heroux on the other hand believes that every human has value and that a House of Correction is exactly that, a place where people will return to the neighborhood as contributing members. If we treat their addiction. If we give them skills. If we help find them housing. But it begins with a fundamental value in the worth of people, no matter how down on their luck they may be. Paul values people and will treat every inmate as the human being they are.
The second comparison is effectiveness.
Hodgson claims to be tough on crime. But he isn’t. He is just tough on inmates. When inmates are put into Solitary for too many days, when they are bullied, humiliated, and threatened. When they are not given any training programs or drug treatment, or anger management skills. Not given guidance on how to return to their community.
At the end of their sentence, when they are literally dumped in a parking lot, with maybe 23 dollars in their pocket, prison garb for clothing, and no place to go, what do you think they are going to do? What do they know how do do? Is it any wonder that inmates re-offend and end back up in BCHC.
Hodgson has refused to change his ways for 25 years, stubbornly insisting on cruelty over common sense. This is not being tough on crime. This is being just plain sadistic and stupid.
Paul Heroux has real-time experience in best practices in management and corrections. He knows what works from his time in Pennsylvania and Massachusetts correctional institutions. Inmates need to pay their debt to society but they will return to the streets. And for those streets to be safer, those Inmates need help with the drug or mental health issues they may have had. They need training for the modern job market. They need help finding housing and jobs for when they get out.
If those things are provided while they are in custody at the House of Correction, then there is a much better chance they won’t be re-offending.
Paul intends to focus on giving inmates exactly what they need to be contributing individuals in their communities. That is being effective, and smart.
He reflects my values, and I hope yours. And he will be effective, not cruel. Vote for Paul Heroux for Sheriff of Bristol County November 8.
Laurie Bullard, Westport Point
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