Oregon Magazine

E-RFD: And Speaking of Sheriffs ...

Date:   Mon, 31 Dec 2007 13:02:18 -0800 
From:  Bill Merwin <billm@bear-clan.com>

Maricopa County was spending approx. $18 million dollars a year on stray animals, like cats and dogs. Sheriff Joe offered to take the department over, and the County Supervisors said okay. 

The animal shelters are now all staffed and operated by prisoners. They feed and care for the strays. 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. He has literally taken stray dogs off the street, given them to the care of prisoners, and had them place in dog shows. 

The best part?  His budget for the entire department is now under $3 million.

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. 

I have long wondered when the rest of the country would take a look at the way he runs the jail system, and copy some of his ideas. He has a huge farm, donated to the county years ago, where inmates can work, and they grow most of their own fresh vegetables and food, doing all the work and harvesting by hand. He has 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 - $8 for the holidays, and plant it later. We have six trees in our yard from the Prison. 

Some liberals don't like Joe

Now he's in trouble with the ACLU again. He painted all his busses and vehicles with a mural, that has a special hotline phone number painted on it, where you can call and report suspected illegal aliens. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement wasn't doing enough in his eyes, so he had 40 deputies trained specifically for enforcing immigration laws, started up his hotline, and bought 4 new busses just for hauling folks back to the border. He's a "Git-R Dun" kind of Sheriff.

To those of you who aren't familiar with the man, he is the Maricopa, Arizona county sheriff, and he keeps getting elected over and over, again.  This is why: it was Sheriff Joe Arpaio who created the famous "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 (body builder) weights and 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! 

And we're just getting started

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, again, but 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. 

A hot time in the old prison tonight

Last summer was a warm one in Phoenix.  On one day it reached 116 degrees, a record.for that time, according to the AP.  About 2,000 inmates were living in the tent encampment, surrounded by barbed wire. They were given permission to strip to their government-issued pink boxer shorts and even 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 a year.  "It's Inhumane."

Joe 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.  They didn't commit any crimes, so shut your damned mouths."   

Way To Go, Joe!

Maybe if all prisons were like this one there would be a lot less crime and/or repeat offenders.

Criminals should be punished for their crimes - not live in luxury 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.

Sheriff Joe was just reelected Sheriff in Maricopa County, Arizona -- with 83% of the vote..

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