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 as required by law. Prisoners now have access only to The Disney Channel and The Weather Channel. When asked why he allowed The Weather Channel, he replied, "So they will know how hot it's gonna be while they are working ON my chain gangs."
He started chain gangs so the inmates could do free work on county and city projects, thereby lowering the taxes and helping raise the standard of living on the local population.
But there was a problem. Because of the litigious society that we live in and with groups like the ACLU, he was afraid that he might get sued for discrimination so he started chain gangs for women. Women have another reason to thank the good ladies of the National Organization for Women (NOW) and the ACLU for forgetting that women are women and insisting on equality everywhere. In Joe Arpaio's jail, they have it.
With temperatures being even hotter than usual in Phoenix, sometimes reaching well over 110 degrees, the 2,000 inmates living in the tent jail had been given permission to strip down to their government issued pink boxer shorts. Hundreds of men wearing boxers were either curled up on their bunk beds or chatted in the tents, which has reached as high as 138 degrees inside the tents. Many were also wrapped in wet, pink towels as sweat dripped down to their pink socks.
"It feels like we are in a furnace," said James Zanzot, an inmate who has lived in the tent jail for one year. "It's Inhumane." Here is a thought... Maybe you should not have committed the crimes that put you in the position you are in now. It seems that you now have a certain motivation not to break the law again. Is that not what rehabilitation is all about?
Joe Arpaio, the tough-guy sheriff who created the tent city jail and long ago started making his prisoners wear pink, and eat bologna sandwiches, is not one bit sympathetic. 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 did not commit any crimes, so shut your damned mouths!"
We certainly applaud Sheriff Joe Arpaio! Maybe if all prisons were like this one there would be a lot less crime and/or repeat offenders. If not, it is certainly a much cheaper way to house these criminals that do nothing positive for society. These are people who cannot live within the confines of the law and now they have a place that does not cost the taxpayers as much. Criminals should be punished for their crimes - not live in luxury until it is time for their parole, only to go out and commit another crime and end up back in jail to live on taxpayer's money and enjoy things taxpayers cannot afford to have for themselves. We did notice that no one from CodePINK ever tries protesting in Joe Arpaio's county in spite of the pink attire that is so in style at the jail.
Sheriff Joe was re-elected Sheriff in Maricopa County with 83% of the vote.
Maricopa County was spending approximately $18 million a year on stray animals, like cats and dogs. Sheriff Joe offered to take the department under his jurisdiction. 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 would 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.
What is the best part? His entire budget for the entire department is now under $3 million. Dogs are neutered, current on all shots, in great health, and when they are placed into a new home, they are micro-chipped. The cost for all of this - about $78.
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. When will the rest of the country take a hard look at the way he runs the jail system, and copy some of his ideas?
There is a huge farm that was 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. It makes you wonder when the ALF or some other eco-terrorist group will try to vandalize the hog farm and free the hogs.
Now he is in trouble with the ACLU... again... and that means he is probably doing something right by actually SOLVING a problem instead of being PART of the problem. What did he do? He painted all his buses and vehicles with a mural, which has a special hotline phone number painted on it, where you can call and report suspected illegal aliens. In his eyes, Immigrations and Customs Enforcement were not doing enough to curtail the illegal immigration problem, so he had 40 deputies trained specifically for enforcing immigration laws, started up his hotline, and bought 4 new buses just for hauling folks back to the border. He is doing things like enforcing the law and, as usual, the ACLU does not approve.
This is exactly what a Sheriff is supposed to do. Why do we not have more like him? Go get them Joe!