DARTMOUTH, Mass. (WPRI) — Bristol County Sheriff Thomas Hodgson has scored a legal victory.
The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court ruled Tuesday that he and other sheriffs can generate and collect revenue by charging inmates for telephone calls, which Hodgson is calling a “win for the taxpayers.”
“It has always been my belief as the Sheriff of Bristol County that one of my most fundamental responsibilities is to minimize the burden on taxpayers for the rising costs of prison operations,” he said in a statement to 12 News.
Hodgson said the decision allows the state to look away from residents who are already overburdened by rising costs and financial hurdles brought on by record inflation.
Currently, inmates at the Bristol County House of Corrections are charged 14 cents per minute for phone calls.
“This decision is not only a victory for the taxpayers and citizens of Massachusetts, but also for Sheriffs who continue to manage our corrections operations in a fiscally responsible manner,” Hodgson added.
The win could be short-lived, however, since the state budget being considered on Beacon Hill includes a provision that would make those phone calls free.