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November 12, 2013

CONTACT: Peter Van Delft
(617) 704-6682


Suffolk County Sheriff Steven W. Tompkins (far right) with awardees and presenters at the recent Project RIGHT Annual Celebration and Community Dinner.

Suffolk County Sheriff Steven W. Tompkins recently served as the keynote speaker for Project RIGHT’s 2013 Annual Celebration and Community Dinner program at Prince Hall in Roxbury.

Project RIGHT (Rebuild and Improve Grove Hall Together)is an organization that was founded in 1992 in order to “promote involvement in neighborhood stabilization and economic development within the community of Greater Grove Hall (Roxbury and North Dorchester). It trains and supports emerging leadership by providing an inclusive network for resident organizations to engage in community building efforts within Grove Hall.”

The celebration, led by the Mistress and Master of Ceremonies, Ms. Deb Socia and Mr. Thaddeus Miles, is an annual dinner event that honors members of the Grove Hall community for their exemplary work in contributing to the betterment of Greater Grove Hall.

After Sheriff Tompkins administered the oath to those people being sworn into Project RIGHT’s Board of Directors, he helped to distribute the Rising Star Award, the Community Leader Award and the Lilla G. Frederick Award to six individuals who have positively impacted the community.

As the keynote speaker, Sheriff Tompkins told the packed crowd about his own interest in protecting the residents of Boston, the community’s responsibility in holding their leaders accountable, and why he loves his job.

“Politicians like myself and others are your lobbyists,” said Sheriff Tompkins. “We are your lobbyists so you need to hold us accountable. We really need to get our heads together to look at this situation of rabid incarceration, particularly when a lot of the folks in our custody should be in a detox bed or a mental health bed, not in a jail bed.”

To further emphasize why members of the community should care about these issues, Sheriff Tompkins explained, “In the Commonwealth, it costs $46,000 dollars to incarcerate one individual. On any given day, I have about 1,800 people in my facility. To educate an individual is anywhere from $14-$20,000. So, it costs twice as much to incarcerate than it does to educate. So, that’s a big drain on society. That’s a big drain on all of you.”

“As folks transition out into society, I’m looking for you to help me as I move to help you,” Sheriff Tompkins continued. “Because, even though this is a job I never thought I’d have, I love this job. When I see someone who has been with us out on the street with their kids, in the store or in the park – there’s no greater feeling.”

For more information about Project RIGHT, visit:


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