Why Not Hampshire? And Bill Newman hosts Yvonne

After reading a recent article on MassLive about the collaborative effort between the Hampden Sheriff’s Office, the Holyoke Police Department, and Behavioral Health Network, https://www.masslive.com/news/2022/06/holyoke-police-sheriff-team-up-on-addition-outreach.html

I couldn’t help but wonder why we’ve never seen that same kind of effort coming from the Hampshire Sheriff’s Office. There is no doubt in my mind that the Northampton PD and any one of the support agencies in Hampshire County would jump at the chance to participate in such an effort, and this is a perfect example of what an innovative and visionary Sheriff can do for the community, with will and skill. A sheriff should not wait for people to come to jail to get the mental health and substance abuse services they need; instead, they should be out actively teaming up with community partners to provide preventative wrap-around services. Direct and personal post-incarceration services are essential, and we will provide those—but at that point, the person now has a record in addition to the mental health and substance abuse issues on board. Handing a newly-released, justice-involved person a page of community resources with hotline numbers and addresses is not enough; we need to significantly expand reentry services provided to those in Hampshire custody as they walk out the door. But even more than that, we need to reach out before this person becomes involved in the justice system. Sheriff’s work is community work, and it involves caring outreach and education to pre-empt a person’s involvement in the criminal justice system whenever possible. When I am Sheriff, you will see the Sheriff’s Office at community events and teaming up with our community police departments in locations where those most in need of support services tend to be. I will work tirelessly to prevent another mother from losing her child, another brother from losing his sibling, or another child from losing a parent. If you want to know more about how I will bring the Hampshire Sheriff’s Office into alignment with the needs and priorities of our community, please tune in tomorrow morning to WHMP, 101.5 at 9am; rebroadcast at 5pm. I’ll be the featured speaker on Bill Newman’s show, and we’ll be talking about my plans for the kind of Sheriff’s work that Hampshire County needs. #KnowYourSheriff  #KnowYourNextSheriff  #SheriffWorkIsCommunityWork