Bristol County Sheriff Tom Hodgson believes that Inmate Industries teaches the incarcerated much more than a trade.
[Tommy] Conway, like the five other men in the woodworking shop, is part of Inmate Industries, a carpentry program at the Bristol County Jail and House of Corrections that makes outdoor furniture and refurbishes items from the community.
“I’ve done carpentry before, but this has been a learning experience,” inmate Paul Pereira said. “I learned some new things. It certainly beats working in the kitchen.”
Goals of the program include raising inmate self-esteem while teaching them a trade and acclimating them to daily job responsibilities.
“Collaboration is an important, basic skill. They learn how to be team players and work together,” Hodgson said. “The program does a lot to help them transition into being productive citizens.”
I was listening to the Mid-Morning Magazine with Phil Paleologos on WBSM 1420 AM (you can listen in via streaming audio at www.wbsm.com and he noted how he has gone out of his way to hire recently former inmates who have served their time, paid their debt to society, and have had a hard time reintegrating into society. Phil owns the historic Shawmut Diner in New Bedford but Sheriff Hodgson’s program – one of many such to instill accountability into the inmates – follows in that same spirit of constructive compassion.