Lawsuit: Bristol Sheriff, Phone Service Pocketing High Call Costs

Telephone in prison (Getty Images/Royalty Free)

NORTH DARTHMOUTH, MA (WBZ-AM) --Bristol County Sheriff Tom Hodgson and a Texas technology company are being sued for engaging in an alleged kickback scheme.

The suit alleges Securus Technologies has jacked up the price of calls made from Bristol county jails and is funneling the money back to the sheriff's office.

Lawyers representing prisoners and consumer rights claim that Securus pays Hodgson’s office $820-Thousand Dollars a year in exchange for an exclusive contract to provide phone services to inmates. 

Kellie Pearson's fiancée Michael Ray was an inmate at the Bristol County House of Correction for 2 years. She says phone calls were so expensive, that Ray had to rush through phone calls with their teenage daughter.

Sheriff Hodgson calls the lawsuit “frivolous”. He says the fees paid by Securus help maintain the phone system and pay for other programs and counseling.

WBZ NewsRadio1030's Kim Tunlicliffe reports.

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