Massachusetts House votes to ban out-of-state inmate labor

BOSTON (AP) — The Massachusetts House has approved a bill that would prevent prison officials from using inmate labor on projects outside the state.

The bill is aimed in part at Bristol County Sheriff Thomas Hodgson, who has offered to send inmates to the U.S.-Mexico border to help President Donald Trump build a wall.

The Republican sheriff has frequently spoken out against illegal immigration. He says inmates from the Bristol County House of Correction could volunteer to help build the border wall or clean up disaster sites.

The House, controlled by Democrats, approved the bill largely along party lines, with Republicans questioning the need for the ban.

The bill now heads to the Senate, which is also controlled by Democrats.

Hodgson dubbed his initiative Project N.I.C.E., which stands for National Inmates’ Community Endeavors.

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