Hernandez’s new life behind bars: tattoos studied for gang connection

By: Alexandra Cowley


Hernandez has spent close to a week in a tiny jail cell. Since booking, gang investigators have been studying his behavior and his tattoos. We went inside the Bristol County House of Corrections to get a better understand of the football stars new life behind bars.



From the loud cheers of Gilette Stadium, to the unsettling screams inside the Dartmouth House of Corrections. Aaron Hernandez's new life is now very different.

 “He would walk into a stadium where thousands and thousands of people are revearing him and cheering him to support him, to walking in the doors here and becoming a number,” said Sheriff Tom Hodgson. 

Sheriff Tom Hodgson says Hernandez spends 23 hours a day locked inside a 7 by 10 foot cell. Only getting out for a shower and a phone call. His cell has a bed and a toilet. He's being watched by video surveillance at all times. 

The former Patriots star sits in a private cell, while the House of Corrections Gang Intelligence Unit, picks apart his tattoos, behavior, and past.

“Anyone that has tattoos, those tattoos are photographed, and our gang intelligence officers begin to do a background investigation on it,” said Hodgson.

There are five well known gangs housed here, “We have the Crips, we have the Bloods, the Latin Kings, Disciples,” explained Hodgson. 

Gang members are identified at booking and rivals are separated to prevent violence.

“It's a very serious situation and that's why classification is so very important,” he said.

Because of Hernandez' star status, his case is being examined closely.

“Any situation where a rival gang member may know of you, you could be in a serious, serious problem,” Hodgson said.

Hernandez has been interviewed once about any ties he may have to gang life…

“Reiterate it to him the importance for all inmates that come in here with any kind of tattoos if there is any suggestion that it could be gang symbols that they're honest with us, because it's not being asked for any other reason but for their protection,” explained Hodgson.

He'll be interviewed again on Monday. That's when it will be decided if the former tight end will remain in seclusion or join the rest of the prison population.