Yvonne Gittelson of Goshen Announces Candidacy for Hampshire County Sheriff

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Corrections Specialist and former Hampshire jail employee to challenge the incumbent.

Dateline: GOSHEN, Massachusetts, March 17, 2022.

Yvonne Gittelson, a longterm resident of Goshen, Corrections Program Specialist, lifelong educator, and former Education Director of the Hampshire County Jail and House of Correction, has announced her candidacy for the Office of Sheriff in the November election. She is running as a Democrat, challenging the first-term incumbent.

“Most people have no idea there is a jail in Hampshire County, or that there is a Sheriff’s Department that could be serving our communities and not just holding people in custody. As the only county-wide agency still serving the towns and cities of Hampshire, I know we can do better and that I am the person to make that happen. The field of Corrections is evolving right before our eyes, as sentences become shorter and shorter, yet people are held awaiting trial for longer and longer periods of time; we have to think differently to meet those needs.  Meanwhile, the officers who do this incredibly difficult work are leaving the profession because they don’t get the support they need. Morale is low, among both officers and support staff.  It doesn’t have to be this way, and certainly not in Hampshire.”  

Ms. Gittelson previously worked at the Hampshire County Jail as the Education Director.  While there, she was a successful grantwriter, bringing hundreds of thousands of dollars in education grant funding to the jail.  “I’m one of the few people there who brought money in, instead of costing the taxpayers,” she said. She created courses, brought vocational programming in, and facilitated new partnerships with faculty at UMass, at no cost to the facility. “It isn’t difficult to collaborate with this community; people in Hampshire want to do good work with justice-involved individuals. There is no stigma toward people in custody in this county.”

She now works for the state as the Corrections Program Specialist for the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. She works with programs at the Department of Corrections, the County Jails and Houses of Correction, the Department of Youth Services, and two community programs that serve English learners. “It’s fascinating work, and education is the only thing that has been statistically proven to reduce recidivism.  I’m the person at the nexus of Corrections and Education in Massachusetts, and I want to bring my statewide experience back to Hampshire County. I’ve seen what’s out there, and I know we can do much better.”

Ms. Gittelson’s campaign kicks off in earnest with the launch of her website, www.YvonneForSheriff.com.  There is a Facebook page and Twitter account as well.  “Right now, job #1 is getting on the ballot.  I’ll be traveling throughout the towns and cities of the county gathering signatures before the deadline in early May.  I can’t wait to meet people to tell them what a truly innovative, dynamic, and progressive Sheriff’s Department can do, and to hear how they would like the Sheriff’s Office to serve their communities. I love this work. The possibilities are endless, and I hope you’ll join me.”