FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
July 10, 2014
CONTACT: Peter Van Delft
Suffolk County Sheriff Steven W. Tompkins recently addressed a media assembly about the transfer to the Nashua Street Jail of former NFL (National Football League) New England Patriots player Aaron Hernandez.
Hernandez, who is currently awaiting trial on murder charges stemming from two separate incidents, had been held in Dartmouth at the Bristol County Sheriff’s Department House of Correction before Judge Susan Garsh issued an order for his transfer to a facility closer to his defense counsel in Boston. Ultimately, the decision was made to transport Hernandez to the Suffolk County Sheriff’s Department’s Nashua Street Jail, prompting a flurry of inquiries by local and national media outlets.
Holding a press conference to address these inquiries together in one place, Sheriff Tompkins gave a brief statement before answering questions related to the transfer of detainee Hernandez into Department custody.
Taking on several recurring topics, Sheriff Tompkins spoke most emphatically about the public perception of Mr. Hernandez as a “celebrity detainee.”
“I would like to address the often asked question about Mr. Hernandez as a celebrity detainee,” said Sheriff Tompkins. “We have had many high profile detainees come through our doors and I can assure you that he will be treated no differently than the other 9,000 detainees that come to this jail every year. Let me say again – Mr. Hernandez will receive no more and no less than any of our other detainees.”
“Our mission is the care, custody and control of inmates and detainees who are remanded to our custody, and we take that mission very seriously,” Sheriff Tompkins continued. “We have a professionally trained custody and non–custody staff who are well–prepared to carry out their duties with respect to the daily operations of this facility, and there will be no deviation from our protocols and procedures.”
Responding to a question about where Mr. Hernandez would be held within the facility, Sheriff Tompkins explained that the Department’s thorough intake and classification process will make that determination within a week.
During the conference, Sheriff Tompkins also spoke about the limitations that exist with respect to the sharing of information about inmates and detainees.
“I know that many of you would like to hear about personal details and in–depth information from us about Mr. Hernandez and his time at the Jail,” said Sheriff Tompkins, “but, in accordance with Department policy and the Code of Massachusetts Regulations (CMR), we will not be able to provide you with all of the information that you may desire.”
Before closing the press conference, Sheriff Tompkins reiterated the Department’s stance about its newest detainee.
“Mr. Hernandez will be another inmate among the 9,000 that we’ll have coming through our jail,” said Sheriff Tompkins. “He will be treated no differently than anyone else.”