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Mass. Sheriff Offers To Have Inmates Help Build Border Wall

FALL RIVER (CBS) – Bristol County Sheriff Thomas Hodgson has made an offer to President-elect Donald Trump to have inmates help build a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border.

"I can think of no other project that would have such a positive impact on our inmates and our country than building this wall," Sheriff Hodgson said at his fourth inauguration Wednesday night.

"Aside from learning and perfecting construction skills, the symbolism of these inmates building a wall to prevent crime in communities around the country, and to preserve jobs and work opportunities for them and other Americans upon release, can be very powerful."

The offer was made as Hodgson debuted Project N.I.C.E., which stands for National Inmates' Community Endeavors.

Tom Hodgson
Bristol County Sheriff Tom Hodgson. (WBZ-TV)

Hodgson, who says his policies focus on rehabilitation rather than recreation, also proposes that inmates should help rebuild and cleanup up after natural disasters around the country.

"Think of how much good could come of 500 or 1,000 extra hands in rebuilding a community after a disaster, and the inmates would learn valuable construction skills and on-the-job training as part of their rehabilitation," Sheriff Hodgson said.

During the presidential campaign, Trump vowed to wall off the Mexican border, and make Mexico foot the bill, which some estimates put around $25 billion. Hodgson did not specify who would pay to transport the prisoners or where they would live during the construction.

Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker delivered the official Oath of Office to Sheriff Hodgson Wednesday at Bristol Community College as he started his fourth six-year term as Bristol County Sheriff.

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