Sheriff Hodgson: Send inmates to help with Harvey relief efforts

By Mary Macedo | Aug 30, 2017
Photo by: Douglas McCulloch Sheriff Hodgson speaks at a symposium at UMass Law on April 6.

With over four feet of rain, at least 30 casualties, and more than 30,000 homes destroyed in Houston, Hurricane Harvey has grabbed the attention of Bristol County Sheriff Thomas M. Hodgson.

Hodgson made a proposal this week to have volunteer inmates from the Bristol County area sent to help with the cleanup and rebuilding efforts once Hurricane Harvey concludes.

Sheriff Hodgson's spokesman, Jonathan Darling said that the proposal comes from Hodgson's involvement with Project N.I.C.E. (National Inmates Community Endeavors,) which is a program to use volunteer inmates to help with natural disaster relief and infrastructure projects. It is the same program he used to offer up inmates to help build a border wall in January.

Darling explained that there are a lot of hurdles to jump through before they will be able to send inmates down there.  Darling said they first need approval from the Sheriffs in Houston, financial support from FEMA and the federal government, as well as help from lawmakers at Beacon Hill.

As of right now Darling said that at least 10 inmates have already volunteered, but it will be awhile until the proposal could see approval.

"Their extra hands could help clean up the debris," Darling said. "It will take along time get the dominoes to fall, but by then the water will be gone and it will be time to clean up and rebuild."

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