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Mass. Prisoners Smash Sprinklers In Protest Over New Lockdown Rules

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DARTMOUTH, Mass. (AP) — The Bristol County sheriff, already in a funding dispute with the governor, says inmates at the Dartmouth jail will be confined to their cells earlier than normal starting next week because he can no longer afford to pay for guards to monitor them.

Republican Sheriff Thomas Hodgson announced Thursday that inmates will be required to enter their cells around 5 p.m., four hours earlier than previously.

Hodgson says he is down 60 guards and has to pay overtime to staff to supervise inmates during that period.

Inmates protesting the changes Wednesday and Thursday broke nearly two dozen sprinkler heads and flooded cells.

Hodgson last week wrote a letter to Democratic Gov. Deval Patrick complaining that his department gets less money in its budget than other sheriff’s departments with fewer inmates.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.

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