TOO HOT FOR ARIZONA CONVICTS (I Have A New Hero In Arizona)
Let me be plain. I have a new hero who wears a badge, and I do not have too many in the business of law enforcement outside of my own family.
that I am filled with confidence about. There are a few, but in this report I want to tell you about my new hero, and I want to tell you why.
Joe Arpaio, the Sheriff of Maricopa County is my new hero, and the reason he has achieved that status is he has come closer than
anyone to fulfilling my plan for dealing with incorrigible convicts. My plan was to take the hard case repeat offenders who get a life sentence
and exile them to some remote Island like Johnston Atoll in the South Pacific for the rest of their lives. My idea was to parachute them in and
periodically drop supplies sufficient for them to have needed food and water for survival. Because of the remoteness of the location they would
not be in need of being guarded to keep them from escaping. And, if they wanted to continue to live violent depraved lives they could inflict it upon each other.
Sheriff Arpaio, has about 2,000 inmates living in a barbed wire surrounded tent encampment at the Maricopa County Jail. He has been greatly
defamed by the liberals but they are living as well, even better, than as I have as a military man. So I do not have any problem with the way they are housed.
If their situation is cruel and unusual punishment as some have said, then some explanation needs to be given about how generations of soldiers have been treated.
Soldiers have to stay solidly attired in protective gear in furnace like conditions in places in places like Iraq, but the Sheriff allows inmates to strip
down to their pink boxer trunks in hot weather. That means they are doing better than our servicemen because they also have wet towels and bunk beds.
Most of our soldiers in Iraq rest on folding camp cots if they have anything that passes for a sleeping bed at all. And there are a lot more scorpions in Iraq
than in Phoenix.
Some have complained that the inmates are only fed two meals a day. When I worked for the Carroll County Department of Corrections inmates
there who were not going out to work were only fed two meals as well. People who are not expending energy working do not need to eat as much as
people who are. Today, I mainly work only writing and reading and it is not at all uncommon for me to eat only one meal because I am not consuming
energy. And I am not losing weight.
Phoenix convicts do not get coffee. That is good. That means they cannot throw hot coffee on the officers that guard them. Besides that, coffee
does not present any nutritional value. It is a luxury. Why should taxpayers have to pay to provide luxuries to criminals? (By eliminating the estimated 5,000
cups of coffee served daily for 5,400 inmates, it was expected the county would save $94,158 a year.)
I have long opposed providing inmates weights and work out tools so they can beef up to fight officers. They do not get them in Maricopa County.
Did you know that in most agencies officers do not have physical training equipment? Where they do it is often inferior to what is provided inmates, often
because it was bought with funds raised by the officers themselves. I know of one instance where officers managed to buy some physical training equipment
for their department only to first have the space to train taken from them, then the County officials took the weight equipment the officers had bought and
gave it to the inmates. I bet that will not happen with the Sheriff of Maricopa County.
Sheriff Joe Arpaio is an equal opportunity sheriff as well. He has chain gangs for men and women alike. No one can accuse him of discrimination.
The more I learn about that man the better I like him. Evidently the people in his county do too. He has been re-elected every time since 1993.
One thing I would like to find out is how many people there, compared to the rest of the country, choose to do crimes that will bring them back to his jail?
The sheriff has taken away pornographic books and movies. He has to have television because of some liberal court order, but he sees to it that
they only see “G” rated movies and the weather channel. I disagree with him allowing inmates to watch the Disney channel because of its heavy occult
content. But I guess nobody is perfect. He did buy a Newt Gingrich lecture series for the inmates. It was said that when he was asked why he did not have
a lecture series by a Democrat he replied that a democratic lecture series might explain why a lot of inmates were in the jails in the first place.
His actual statement is reported in another place to have been something like this: "For one thing I don't know of any," he said. "And some people might
say these guys already got enough of those ideas."
The sheriff has done much to improve the health of the inmate by giving them plenty of fresh air and worthwhile exercise, repaying in some small
degree the citizens of the County they have wronged with work. For some it may be the only work they have done in their entire lives. One inmate that
I had to deal with when I was in corrections, a man of 27 years, told me he had tried work once for two weeks and did not like it. In our County he got
the experience of clearing roadsides with a bush axe and I do not think the introduction of additional work experience into his life hurt him at all. Sheriff
Joe Arpaio has gone one step further though. He took away their cigarettes so they could have clean lungs and benefit from the pristine air of Arizona.
One thing about taking away inmates smoking material that is a real benefit to any prison I might add to the report. The less combustibles prisoners
have the less ability they have to do real damage if they want to riot and act out. Anyone familiar with the history of prison riots can tell you that when
inmates get opportunity they set fires. Many inmates have died from the fumes from the fires they set, so taking away prisoners smoking material is both
a humane and a defensive measure.
He is also proud of having lowered the cost of feeding inmates. Assorted news articles quote slightly differing figures, but a 40¢ per serving
expenditure is the one most often given. "It costs more to feed our police dogs than our inmates. The dogs never committed a crime, and they're
working for a living," Arpaio said. I agree. I have a new hero in Maricopa County, Arizona.
P. O. Box 752
Buchanan, Georgia 30113