Thomas Hodgson, the sheriff of Bristol County in neighboring Massachusetts, first came to the attention of many Rhode Islanders when he introduced a "chain gang" program in 1999. Hodgson, who likens his approach to "tough love" for criminals, has remained controversial; an ongoing class action suit has, for now, stopped him from imposing charges on inmates for various "bed and board" expenses. While not endorsing the sheriff's entire program, I have been favorably impressed by his support for the kind of rehabilitative efforts that are increasingly rare in American prisons.
Hodgson joins Steve Aveson, Arlene Violet and myself on Newsmakers this Sunday to discuss his approach, as well as broader questions of crime and punishment, including prevention and alternative sentencing. The show will be broadcast Sunday, at 5:30 AM on Channel 12 (CBS) and at 10 AM on Fox 64.