Tag Archives: Strafford

Jail Guards Caught Smuggling in Heroin, Impersonating Cops, Preventing Inmate Mail

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You won’t believe this. Even I can’t believe it. I had to stop investigating this story because the rabbit hole of corruption was so deep that I lost sight of where it began. So let’s start at the end and work backwards…

Chris Brackett, the head of the jail in Dover, New Hampshire decided to impose a policy of obstructing all inmate mail. No more letters from the outside world. An article published by the Portsmouth Herald cites recent inmate overdoses as the potential justification for this excessively restrictive action.

There are two problems with that theory. First, the jail doesn’t allow packages of any sort, including birthday cards or anything other than ink and paper (at least, until last week’s new policy took effect). Second, it is policy for jail employees to physically open and check the contents of all inmate mail for any contraband and remove it before it reaches the inside. There is no way inmates were receiving heroin through ink and paper letters, and preventing their delivery will have no effect on inmate overdoses.

How are the overdoses happening? To find that answer, we need look no further than an article by the Portsmouth Herald from May in which one of the jail guards was caught bringing heroin into the housing unit of the jail. Case closed. It’s not the mail. It’s your employees.

Who’s in charge of hiring these top-notch individuals working at the Dover jail? Well, none other than Bruce Pelkie, the Superintendent of Strafford County Jails, who was himself arrested earlier this year on felony charges of impersonating an officer. Apparently while enjoying more than a year on paid vacation on taxpayer’s dime, Bruce thought it would be great fun to get his personal vehicle outfitted with red and blue police lights and pull people over. Is he a cop? No. Does he have the authority to pull anyone over? No. Then surely the local police would notice this happening and stop him? Nope. A State Trooper was finally the one to catch the Superintendent of the jails pulling people over in his personal car. And all while he is out on “administrative leave” for what he claims are medical reasons. Surely this means he loses his job, his pay, and the taxpayer-funded medical insurance he’s been collecting? Also no. The superintendent of the jails continues to receive paychecks for not doing his job, and committing crimes on the side.

There are countless more crimes and stories of corruption emanating from this public embarrassment of a facility — too many to list in this one article. I had no idea what a can of worms I’d be opening when I dug into the first story about jail guards obstructing inmate mail. Is this even legal? Should groups like the ACLU and prisoner’s rights groups file a lawsuit against Chris Brackett and the people who are obstructing mail delivery to inmates? Please share this article and video with your friends and family and ask them what they think. Building a free society depends on people like you to think, speak, and act — especially when it is easier to do nothing.