May 16, 2009
By: Dallas Kelly
Sheriff Joe Arpaio, Maricopa County, Arizona
believes that “Criminals should be punished for their crimes – not live in luxury until it’s time for their parole. Be released 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.”
To make matters worse, Sheriff Joe, does not apologize for the crack down on illegal aliens. By doing so, he has removed thousands of illegal aliens from his jail (already there because they were convicted of other crimes), and from the country, by having them deported after they serve their sentences. He has now taken the next step to enhance his long time practice of enforcing the law.
He painted all his buses and vehicles, including those vans used to haul prisoners with a mural that has a special hotline phone number painted on it, where you can call and report suspected illegal aliens. Immigration and Customs Enforcement needed a little help in Sheriff Joe’s opinion, so he had 40 deputies trained specifically for enforcing immigration laws and started up his hotline. He seems intent on doing the job his constituents elected him to do.
According to the Maricopa County Sheriffs Office website the Illegal Immigration Statistics to Date are:
Under the State law
- Arrests by Sheriff’s deputies of persons transporting or being transported illegally into Arizona: 1,302
Under the Federal law
- Arrests by Sheriff’s deputies who, in the course of their duties, determine the arrestee is in Arizona illegally: 1,701
- Each inmate booked is interviewed for immigration status. Sheriff’s detention officers have turned over 24,566 illegal immigrants to Immigration authorities for deportation.
And that has outraged some politicians and other pro-amnesty celebrities. Rev Al Sharpton for one, calling for him to resign, labeling Sheriff Joe Arpaio a racist and accusing him of racially profiling those he arrested and deported. Sheriff Joe responded with a letter to Rev. Sharpton inviting him to meet, so they might discuss the issue, but letting him know that he has no intention of stepping down. Commenting that HE was elected to do his job, yet he doesn’t know of one person who voted for Sharpton for anything. Arpaio says that Sharpton just doesn’t “know the people of this state”. Contrary to the Al Sharptons of this country, Sheriff Joe Arpaio is reconfirmed that he is doing a good job and doing what the voters expect him to do every 4 years by electing him with resounding majority votes. He keeps getting elected by the people of Maricopa County to do a job, he intends to keep doing it.
Some quick facts about Sheriff Joe Arpaio:
** Elected first in 1992, and re-elected since then for a total of 5 terms 4 years each
** In 1995, Sheriff Joe noted that inmates were stealing the (then) white boxer shorts issued as part of the jailhouse inmate attire. The boxer shorts had “MCSO” stenciled on the back and were being sold on the street for up to ten dollars. Word got back to Sheriff Joe that $48,000 worth of boxers had literally disappeared from the laundry, presumably smuggled out of the jails and sold for pocket money. Sheriff Arpaio immediately ordered that all boxers be dyed pink. He figured that hiding pink boxer shorts when inmates go out on work furlough or work release would be tough to do and easy for a detention officer to spot either under the inmates uniforms or their street clothes. Of course, the Sheriff also knew that inmates (these are macho guys after all) don’t really like pink. Soon the pink dye job was extended to not only the boxers, but also the tee shirts, socks and towels.
** Sheriff Joe created the “Tent City Jail” which can hold about 2,000 inmates. Saves Maricopa County quite a bit of money and is in addition to the “hard” facilities of the county. With temperatures being even hotter than usual in Phoenix (116 degrees), the Associated Press reported: 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 under the tents 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.”
To which, Sheriff Joe replied, “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 mouth!”
** He serves only two meals a day, bologna sandwiches are typical. He has the cost of his jail meals down to $0.40 cents a serving and charges the inmates for them. Sheriff Joe eliminated coffee, noting that it has zero nutritional value, but also as a way to protect inmates and guards from hot-coffee assaults by other inmates. By cutting the estimated 5,000 cups of coffee served daily for 5,400 inmates, it was expected the county saved $94,158 per year. He also eliminated the serving of salt and pepper (saving approx. $20,000 per year)
** When the inmates complained, he told them, “This isn’t The Ritz/Carlton . . . If you don’t like it, don’t come back.”
** He has stopped cigarette smoking and pornographic magazines in the jails;
** He removed their work out weight sets
** He instituted 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 requiring cable tv for jails, so he hooked up the cable TV again . . . but, restricts the channels to Disney channel and weather channel, a news channel and on air government channels. When asked why he allows the Weather Channel, Sheriff Joe is said to have responded I want them to know how hot it’s going to be when they are working on the chain gang;
** He purchased the 10 segment Newt Gingrich lecture series on video tape and pipes it 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.
In addition to the budget conscious measures above, he also stretches the taxpayer dollar with the large farm, donated to the county several years ago, where inmates can work, and they grow many of their own fresh vegetables and food, doing all the work and harvesting by hand.
There is also a pretty good sized hog farm, which provides meat and fertilizer. It fertilizes the Christmas tree nursery, where prisoners work, and you can buy a living Christmas tree for $6.00 – $8.00 for the holidays and plant it later. Many local residents have trees in their yard from the prison nursery.
Sheriff Joe Arpaio is also credited with being instrumental in the opening of the Maricopa Animal Safe Hospice (MASH), a no-kill animal shelter operated by the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office (MCSO) in what was formerly Phoenix’s First Avenue Jail. The facility opened by Sheriff Arpaio is a 30-year-old jail previously used to house inmates, but was closed for repairs to plumbing in December 1999. Though no longer suitable for housing inmates, the jail looks like a paradise to the four footed victims now housed and recovering there. The MASH location in the First Avenue Jail is air-conditioned, and the cells have been reconditioned to comfortably house animals.
“The purpose of the shelter is to provide a safe, healthy and healing shelter for animals who have been abused, neglected by their caretakers/owners and rescued by the Animal Cruelty Investigative Unit.”
Sheriff Joe’s no-kill animal shelters are staffed and operated by prisoners. They feed and care for the animals. Every animal in his care is taken out and walked twice daily. He now has prisoners who are experts in animal nutrition and behavior. They give great classes for anyone who’d like to adopt an animal.
The prisoners get the benefit of about $0.28 an hour for working, but most would work for free, just to be out of their cells for the day. Most of his budget is for utilities, building maintenance, etc. He pays the prisoners out of the fees collected for adopted animals.
His Tent City Jail, pink prisoner underwear, socks, towels and handcuffs, all of which gets lots of attention, also seems to strike a note of approval with at least 73% of US voters who believe law officers should check to see if a person is here illegally even when stopped for a traffic violation.
Way to go, Joe!