Sheriff Cahillane next up in Worthington candidates series


Staff Writer
Published: 6/21/2022 4:22:04 PM

WORTHINGTON — Sheriff Patrick Cahillane, who is running for a second term as Hampshire County sheriff, will be speaking this Sunday in the town Democratic Committee’s Sundays with the Candidates series.

“I have always had an open dialogue with anyone who wants to call,” Cahillane said. “There are no hidden agendas.”

Cahillane’s two competitors for the Democratic nomination for sheriff, Yvonne Gittelson and Caitlin Sepeda, have already appeared at Sundays with the Candidates.

The series takes place over Zoom and Cahillane will be appearing at it at 2 p.m. this Sunday. The event is open to all western Massachusetts residents, and those interested in receiving the link can email with their name and town.

Cahillane, who is serving in his final year of his six-year term, said the Worthington Democrats are free to ask him any questions.

“My record is what my record is,” he said.

Cahillane pointed to the Hampshire County Jail starting a medication-assisted treatment program for opioid addiction during the COVID-19 pandemic, and how the remodeling of treatment units at the jail was completed during the pandemic — despite the contractor wanting to halt work after the pandemic hit.

“All of these pieces that we are working on have started to come to fruition,” Cahillane said.

Cahillane also praised the staff at both the jail and in the civil process portion of the sheriff’s office, which deals with processes including evictions and divorce.

Cahillane said his office started having a mental health clinician go out with each eviction notice during the pandemic.

“We’re going to continue that service,” Cahillane said.

He also said the office is looking to build a relationship with Amherst’s Community Responders for Equity, Safety & Service program related to the office’s eviction work.

Additionally, Cahillane noted the assistance his office provides to those out on probation, pointing to the center in Northampton it runs in collaboration with the state probation department, which provides job placement counseling, addiction treatment resources and mental health counseling.

The sheriff also highlighted the parole center at the jail.

Cahillane has worked in corrections for more than four decades. He said that he believes in treating prisoners with dignity and kindness, which he said is the same philosophy as his two predecessors in the sheriff’s job.

Asked about his work as it relates to small hilltowns like Worthington, Cahillane pointed to his office stopping charging regional lockup fees to communities. He also noted that he pushed back against the unsuccessful effort to have Hampshire County trials held in Greenfield during the pandemic.

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