Inmates Sue Bristol County Sheriff For Mistreatment

BOSTON, MA (WBZ-AM) Three prisoners from the Bristol County House of Corrections have sued Sheriff Tom Hodgson, over solitary confinement and segregation.

The suit calls the the suicide rate at the jail alarmingly high.

Hodgston, and other officials from the house of correction are named in a class action lawsuit alleging harsh mistreatment  of mentally ill inmates who are held in solitary confinement or "segregation."    

The suit calls the suicide rate at the jail twice as high as other massachusetts corrections facilities. 

Blaming the decision to segregate at risk inmates rather than provide adequate mental health treatment. 

In 2016, four inmates committed suicide.  

The inmates are demanding appropriate care, and an independent mental health professional to ensure compliance with care standards.    

Sheriff Tom Hodgson accuses prisoners legal services trying to grab headlines while criminal justice reform is being debated on at the State House. 

In a statement released to WBZ NewsRadio1030 Sheriff called called the suit "frivolous"and  he says he has no doubt the suit will be thrown out. 

“The lawsuit is frivolous and filled with misinformation, misconceptions and flat-out lies. The Bristol County Sheriff’s office is nationally accredited by the American Corrections Association and the National  Commission for Corrections Health Care, in addition to being regularly audited by the Mass. Department of Corrections and the Federal government. We pass each audit and inspection, and never receive a deficiency mark on any aspect of our physical or mental health systems,”  said Jonathan Darling, public information officer for the Bristol County Sheriff’s Office. 

“It’s clear that prisoners legal services is using this lawsuit as a headline grab to advance the organization’s political agenda as the criminal justice reform package it is pushing is currently being considered on beacon hill. We have no doubt that this absurd lawsuit will be thrown out by a judge rather quickly,” Darling said.

WBZ NewsRadio1030's Lana Jones reports.

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