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Mass. Sheriff Skeptical Of Obama's Prison Reform Plan

BOSTON (CBS) - If the President wants prison reform and he wants to reduce the sentences for some non-violent drug offenders, he won't get much support from Bristol County Sheriff Tom Hodgson.

Hodgson is at odds with the President's plan, saying it would "contradict the judges who spent hours during the prosecution of the case, reviewing evidence."

"Drug dealing is not a non-violent act," says Hodgson. "Here in Southeastern Mass. we have people dying on a daily basis from heroin. That drug dealer may not have used a knife or gun, but it's the person providing the means by which people are dying."

What Sheriff Hodgson would really like to see is more federal money for in-prison programs for education and counseling. Ryan Hechavarria is one example -- he just earned his GED while in the Bristol County House of Corrections.

"I can go out there and get a job so I don't have to resort to other things," Hechavarria said. "Now I can talk to my kids and tell them I did something with my life."

Hodgson also says that if Obama manages to implement prison reform, it should not be retroactive.


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