Wednesday, April 05, 2006

The Sheriff


THIS IS ONE OF THE REASONS WHY:Sheriff Joe Arpaio (in Arizona) who created the "tent city jail".
He has jail meals down to 40 cents a serving and charges the inmates for them.
He stopped smoking and porno magazines in the jails.
Took away their weights.
Cut off all but "G" movies.
He started chain gangs so the inmates could do free work on county and city projects.
Then he started chain gangs for women so he wouldn't get sued for discrimination.
He took away cable TV until he found out there was a federal court order that required cable TV for jails. So he hooked up the cable TV again only let in the Disney channel and the weather channel.When asked why the weather channel he replied, so they will know how hot it's gonna be while they are working on my chain gangs.
He cut off coffee since it has zero nutritional value.
When the inmates complained, he told them, "This isn't the Ritz/Carlton. If you don't like it, don't come back."
He bought Newt Gingrich's lecture series on videotape that he pipes into the jails. When asked by a reporter if he had any lecture series by a Democrat, he replied that a democratic lecture series might explain why a! lot of the inmates were in his jails in the first place.

With temperatures being even hotter than usual in Phoenix (116 degrees just set a new record), the Associated Press reports: About 2,000 inmates living in a barbed-wire-surrounded tent encampment at the Maricopa County Jail have been given permission to strip down to their government-issued pink boxer shorts.
On Wednesday, hundreds of men wearing boxers were either curled up on their bunk beds or chatted in the tents, which reached 138 degrees inside the week before.
Many were also swathed in wet, pink towels as sweat collected on their chests and dripped down to their pink socks. "It feels like we are in a furnace," said James Zanzot, an inmate who has lived in the tents for 1 year. "It's inhumane."
Joe Arpaio, the tough-guy sheriff who created the tent city and long ago started making his prisoners wear pink, and eat bologna sandwiches, is not one bit sympathetic.
He said that he told all of the inmates: "It's 120 degrees in Iraq and our soldiers are living in tents too, and they have to wear full battle gear, but they didn't commit any crimes, so shut your damned mouths!"

What do you think? Do you think if all prisons were like this one, there might be less crime and/or repeat offenders? Do you think criminals should be punished for their crimes - not live with some of those luxuries until it's time for their parole, only to go out and commit another crime so they can get back in to live on taxpayers money and enjoy things taxpayers can't afford to have for themselves? By luxuries I am talking about cable tv and air conditioning. I just think about some people (who have not committed crime against someone else) that are hardworking and cannot afford some of these luxuries.

I guess the question remains....should prison be for reform or for punishment, or maybe both?

I just wondered what people's opinions are on this subject.


rastaman said...

Babygirl ... I knew of the path, and opened it wide. You have a nice day too! Rasta appreciates you, so much.

Rasta thinks both ... putting it simply, with a one word answer, for a complex problem.

hotboy said...

My dead brother was a screw who worked for years in the Special Unit, a therapautic unit for lifers in Barlinnie Prison, Glasgow, but I won't let anything I actually know affect what comes next.
Prisoners should be forced to meditate. They should be chained to the walls and told it might take twelve years. Buddhist sutras should be pumped out at them at set intervals as their only entertainment. When they can dry off three woollen blankets by generating inner heat, they should be let out. Otherwise, kept in. Who said you couldn't have tough compassion? Hotboy

Becky said...

Good question... I would have to say for punishment, shouldn't there be a different place for reform...

Shannon said...

Tough subject... I don't think someone who is in there for murder should be treated the same way as say someone who is in there for unpaid parking tickets.. (Can you go to prison for that?) it was just a comparison...=)

It sounds harsh but maybe it would stop repeat offenders, maybe it wouldn't, some of those people are mental too. Who knows!!

Have a great one Lee Ann!

Heather said...

I think it should be both. If we only punish without reforming then once they are released, they still know no different lifestyle.

I think that they should all be educated - up to a high school level. Anything beyond that, they need to pay for themselves.

And as far as I'm concerned, TV is a luxury not a right. Prison needs to stop being better than the life they would have outside of prison.

Dave Morris said...


angel, jr. said...

I think prisoners should be treated humanely, but I do think that some deprivation is in order.

Yesterday I was on a roll at the gym. I jogged 3 miles on the treadmill. I walked two and then attended my kick-boxing class.

Edge said...

You people are crazy. You do the crime you do the time and don't forget you and I are paying for this so keep them out of prison because I can think of a lot of things I would rather my taxes go for.

ALL prisons used to be like this, now look at the crime we have. We need more crime deterents like this. I'm sure they are saying, "Don't get caught in Maricopa County if you do a crime."

Pansy-liberal-feel-gooders ...

Let him run for president!

Saur♥Kraut said...

I think it is fantastic. I know some ex-prisoners who have told me privately, and honestly, that if they'd had similar incarcerations, they would have reformed long ago. It's a well-known fact that prisons are where you network and learn to be a better crook, not a better person. Usually. But in this case, I'll bet his recidivism rates are much lower.

Lee Ann said...

Rastaman ~ Babygirl appreciates you too!

Hotboy ~ Now that is an idea!

Becky ~ I surely do not know the statistics, but from the little I have heard...there is not too much reform in jail (not so sure about the prison system though).

Shannon ~ I would think that those lighter crime violators are kept separate from the hard criminals...don't you think? So, maybe they are treated a bit differently by the system and the other inmates.
You have a great one too!

Osbasso said...

I would question how many of you have spent any time incarcerated at any level--city jail, county jail or state/federal prison. For all the "luxuries" that appear to exist, you have no idea what life behind bars is really like, until you've been there yourself to experience it.

Lee Ann said...

Heather ~ I understand what you are saying!

Dave ~ I am all for reform, if it works!

Angel ~ I am in agreement with you. I don't think a person should ever be treated inhumanely, but prison is prison..."if they don't like it, don't come back" right?

My workouts are better every day. I am going for about 50 minutes on the treadmill and 80 crunches a day! Keep up the good work Angel!

Jef ~ I do agree. If they do the crime, they should do the time. I know when I was growing up, if I acted up, I was punished for it. I was not treated inhumanely, but I did learn my lesson from the punishment.

Lee Ann said...

Saur ~ You are probably right.

Os ~ I am sure it is difficult to be behind bars, I can only imagine as you say.
I think my biggest struggle with prisoners having "the extras" is that there are plenty of people who do not live the life of crime that cannot afford "the extras" but must help in allowing the prisoners to have them.
(And by luxuries I am talking about cable tv, airconditioning, or even televisions).

Menzies Milngavie III said...

I say!

Thought I'd pop over here before it gets too busy tomorrow.

The jails hereabouts certainly don't have TV. They are very bare.

One of my assistants suffered two year's incarceration for painting a picture of a previous president. The painting was made in good faith, but unfortunately included too many grey hairs. The secret police took exception, and thought it was some sort of political statement (and by implication that the president was getting old), hence two years in prison. My assistant lost most of his teeth from eating prison millet with gravel in it. Of course, there were no dentists.

This all happned before I employed him.

He was never quite right after that.


Lee Ann said...

MMIII ~ Wow, that seems inhumane. Just wrong! I am sorry for him.
That is something all together different from receiving decent humane treatment and receiving "the extras".

You are a good man, I am sure he is appreciative of you Menzies.

Ellen said...

I saw a show on this very Sheriff not too long ago ... maybe it was dateline or 60 Minutes (not sure which), and think it was an interesting concept... a no-nonsense attitude to a growing problem.
I weigh in at "both" as well, and would like to see more prisons like this one. Perhaps if one has time to sweat it out in the desert jail, they'll think twice before committing the crime.
I think it's funny that he would pipe in Newt Gingrich's lecture series.... that in itself would be torture!

Lee Ann said...

Ellen ~ I know I would think twice about doing something wrong if I knew my consequences would be a desert jail. But then again, just jail in general would keep me from doing something wrong.
Haha, I know what you mean about the Newt Gingrich's lecture series.

Glibbidy said...

I think a combination of punishment and reform should be in order.

Semi-Celibate Man said...

I think, first and foremost, it should be a place you don't want to go back to. That's an effective deterrent. He's achieving that, and I think humanely.

By the way, Newt was a history professor before he was a congressman. His taped lectures are about the greatness of America. Probably good for the inmates.

Anonymous said...

You know, maybe I'm a hard-boiled SOB, but I rather agree with this sheriff's tactics.

Seriously, his jail is a deterrent. People are bound to avoid breaking the law in his jurisdiction just to avoid his jail. Which is what the people in his jurisdiction want: Law and order.

I think if we treated more prisoners this way, there'd be less prisoners. There's no reason we should treat them better than most of our military, and a lot of our citizens.

I think you can reform while you punish them, but I don't think that they should be getting a college education on the taxpayer's dime, either.

That's my opinion, anyway...

Lee Ann said...

Glib ~ If it can be done, then I am for that too!

SC ~ I agree, it should be a place you don't want to go back to. Actually, I would probably like hearing the tapes over silence!

Nilo ~ I totally get what you are saying.

An80sNut said...

Punishment and reform. I think that one hand washes the other. I can only wish other sheriffs took up his ideas. I'm sick of hearing how they get fed well, can get an education, can work out until they are in better shape than the guards and are pitied by someone that thinks they just weren't held long enough by their mother as a child.

robmcj said...

Reform rarely happens, so let's face it, it's about retribution and sometimes for the safety of society. Nothing wrong with that, so long as the person is indeed guilty, and conditions are humane (unlike this Arizona jail).

Henri Banks said...

i´m going to take your post and put it in my blog this scherif is great we need a man like him in berlin

Lee Ann said...

an89snut ~ I hear you!

Rob ~ I do agree, I don't think they should be treated inhumanely, but I don't disagree with this sheriff's tactics.

Henri ~ I don't think I would mess up again if I were one of his prisoners, but the thought of prison in the first place would keep me out.

robmcj said...

Agreed. I like his attitude.