Home / Sheriff Joe Arpaio: An Arizona Embarrassment

Sheriff Joe Arpaio: An Arizona Embarrassment

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Many people around the nation have heard of Maricopa County Sheriff, Joe Arpaio; if you believe the sheriff himself, "…there isn't anybody in the world who doesn't know who this sheriff is." Seriously? Somehow I suspect that there are, in fact, billions of people in the world who not only don't know who he is, but don't care either!

Still, the fact that the man would make such an outrageous claim is proof of his indefatigable ego. It is his ego and knack for shameless self-promotion that have surely helped secure him a whole new level of stardom: reality TV star. One of the FOX networks is now running a reality TV series starring the erstwhile sheriff, titled Smile, You're Under Arrest.

Where do I begin? The obvious place to start is by assessing the known character of "Sheriff Joe." Here we have a man who kicks dirt over the line between appropriate treatment of prisoners, and human rights abuses. This is the sheriff who makes male prisoners wear pink underwear, and houses convicts in tent cities in the desert (where temperatures can reach well into the triple digits). As Sheriff Arpaio rightly points out, he is not forcing prisoners to endure anything our troops don't already in the deserts of Iraq and Afghanistan. So, is it wrong? I think so, and on both counts; I am ashamed at the state of Arizona, and grieved that our troops should be made to endure those conditions.

So why is Sheriff Joe now a reality TV star? In a word: sensationalism. Americans clearly don't care about human rights or civil liberties (so long as it's not their rights or liberties being trampled). Look at Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo Bay — we know the government is torturing people in deep, dark dungeons around the world, and we just don't care. Where's the outrage? Sadly, fervent, vigorous debate has been replaced in this country by countless numbers of mind-numbing televisions shows staring Sheriff Joe and his ilk. Now days, not only do we tolerate "mild" abuses, we elevate them to stardom because of the shocking, entertaining sensationalism they provide. It's no wonder we find places like Guantanamo Bay at the bottom of that slippery slope. I can't help but wonder when our evening news will be followed by a daily dose of The Running Man.

If you consider yourself to be a right-thinking person, a compassionate humanitarian, or socially conscious American, you should not watch Sheriff Joe's new show. In fact, we would all do well to eliminate this kind of rubbish from our lives. If you believe, as I do, that viewing acts of violence, aggression, and inhumanity desensitizes us to the reality of such acts, don't allow them into your mind. I'm not suggesting that one should be uneducated about the issues, nor ignorant of the facts, but don't allow them to use these facts to entertain you. If you would never violate the civil or human rights of another person, I implore you, don't allow yourself to watch someone else do it on TV just for a cheap giggle.

Oh, and one more thing. If you live in Maricopa County, the time has come for you to do the right thing. You have been responsible for one of Arizona's most protracted embarrassments for long enough. It's time for Arizona to be associated with a truly uncompromising sheriff, a true public servant with a deep understanding of human rights. (By the way, have you looked at your crime statistics lately?)

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About Nate Fleischer

  • Cindy D

    Americans clearly don’t care about human rights or civil liberties (so long as it’s not their rights or liberties being trampled).

    It’s troubling Nate. Particularly, something I was reading today. Police brutality rates have increased since 9/11.

    Combine that with 10% of the population being in prison. And prisoner treatment in corporate prisons.

    I guess good ‘ol Sheriff Arpaio serves to normalize it for the general public.

    Last year, 96% of cases referred for prosecution by investigative agencies were declined.

    In 2005, 98% were declined, a rate that has remained “extremely high” under every administration dating to President Carter, according to a TRAC report.

    The high refusal rates, say Burnham and law enforcement analysts, result in part from the extraordinary difficulty in prosecuting abuse cases. Juries are conditioned to believe cops, and victims’ credibility is often challenged.

    “When police are accused of wrongdoing, the world is turned upside down,” Harris says. “In some cases, it may be impossible for (juries) to make the adjustment.” (USA TODAY)

    Thanks for your good message.

  • Cindy D

    ooops, those figures refer to police brutality cases. I didn’t make that clear.

  • Cannonshop

    What’s the recidivism rate in Maricopa County? Here’s my issue with your position, Cindy: if 96 to 98% of allegations of police abuse are not forwarded for prosecution, it can only mean one of two things:

    1. There are a lot of criminals who are liars.

    2. There is a conspiracy in law enforcement to cover up abuse.

    2 implies a criminal intent-conspiracy in this case is a felony, whereas “Police Brutality” results in administrative suspension. It presupposes a tendency for cops to BE criminals.

    1 presupposes that a person who breaks the law, steals things, deals drugs, or drives drunk might be a liar-which fits the pattern of behaviour that gets them into trouble in the first place.

    I find option 1 vastly more likely than option 2. Studies have shown that Criminal behaviour often fits very well with personality types that are very narcissistic, self-centred, and inclined to dishonesty.

    Now, Sherriff Arpaio’s “jails” are unpleasant-this strikes me as being a good idea-Jail should BE unpleasant, that way people don’t want to go there, or don’t want to go BACK.

    Now, if the Sherriff has a mouth (and let’s face it, he does, he’s an elected politician and they ALL have a mouth) lots of people won’t like him (and lots of those folks aren’t criminals), but a lot of people do like him (enough for him to get re-elected, enough that he’s been profiled in everything from Newsweek to Penthouse). He’s been made famous for running an unpleasant jail-successfully.

    People don’t want to go to Joe’s Jail. Were I a taxpayer in Maricopa County, I’d probably LIKE Joe because of this- ’cause the numbers appear to show that people who go to Joe’s Jail, don’t do things in the county that could land them BACK in Joe’s Jail-they might go somewhere else, or they might make an effort not to return by…oh…not doing what got them there in the first place?

    Jails should not be fun, they shouldn’t be a business retreat for criminals, they should suck.

  • jamminsue

    Cannonshop, you missed #3:

    No one gives a damn about criminals’ civil rights (including the criminals) in this parochial society we live in now. So, who cares? The criminals understand this (they did it when they weren’t criminals themselves).
    So, They don’t even try…

    My brother is a prison guard in Texas for high security inmates. He does much on his own to make things OK for those guys, but do they appreciate it? No, he thinks because no one eveer taught them “Thank You”, “Please” or any other of those kind thoughtful words that do not seem to belong to anyone any longer. Nor do they understand the concept of altruism.

    And, jails were supposed to be there to make a prisoner change their behavior, as much as a deterrent. Otherwise the time and expense is wasted.

  • Cindy D

    RE #3


    Nonsense. I’m not talking about criminals. I’m talking about brutality. Brutality comes from the perpetrator of brutality, not the victim. It applies to kids on skateboards not just guys pulled from a car chase escaping from a bank job.

    It’s owned completely by the brute.

    I’m talking about a male officer who takes in a female DUI, she mouths off to him and he turns off the camera. Camera comes on and she’s lying in a puddle of blood and he says she fell. Her face looks like she was in a match with a prizefighter.

    The officer eventually gets fired. No criminal charges. No charges at all.

  • Cindy D

    and Cannon, what it means is this. prosecutors do not press criminal charges on police unless they absolutely have to.

    whereas, if you or i were to be a suspect the prosecutor’s job is to prosecute us, not wonder about our innocence. prosecute us innocent or guilty.

    do i know some cops, have i met some who aren’t brutes? yes.

    but most of the ones i’ve ever me have a problem with power and authority, even one’s who would never actually be physically brutal.

  • Cindy D

    most of the ones i’ve ever met

  • Cindy D

    and i cannot imagine that you’d merely ignore the blue wall. your comment seems like it’s non-existent to you.

  • Cannonshop

    #8 Cindy, I suspect the “Blue Wall” is more myth than reality.

  • Cindy D

    okay Cannonshop. i guess i get out at this station.

  • “Sheriff Joe Arpaio: An Arizona Embarrassment” is the heading, well we in Scotland have heard about this guy and we would not be “embarrassed” if you ‘deported’ him over here! Sheriff Joe is a hero here, too! We need law enforcement that shows prisoners, as he says, “if you don’t like the regime here don’t come back”. Our prisons – many are ‘open prisons’ which means that there are no cons locked up all the time – have private toilet facilities, plus p.c.s and TV in their “rooms”! They’re even refurbishing some toilets to suit Muslim prisoners so that they do not defecate with their backs to mecca – have you ever heard of such crap (pun intended!).

    We at LetterWritersGuild.org.uk like your sub-heading of “a sinister cabal of superior writers”! We will try to emulate your activities thru our fledgling website. Do drop by and leave a comment.

    Paul (Hon. – but amateur! – “webmaster”)

  • Disgusted of Tunbridge Wells

    We need sheriff Joe in England too, what with the prisons being like a revolving door an’ all and the place being taken over by people who don’t have British values and never will because they ain’t the right bleedin’ colour for a start, but I won’t have people saying I’m a racialist.

    They should bring back the prison hulks or transportation to that Botany Bay with all the other thieves, or just send ’em back where they came from, even if it’s only to Ealing.

    Just last week, my next-door neighbour arrived home 30 years before he should have. It was only a year ago that he was convicted for that triple axe murder up on the heath, and now they’ve gone and let him out for good behaviour.

    If I worked in the gaols and did something like that, well, it’d be more than me jobsworth.

    I picked up the Mail off me doormat this morning and then had a little peek from behind the curtains to see what that Mrs Smith up the road was up to with her husband away in the army and everything when I saw him arrive home first thing all wet and still wearing prison clothes and a right dangerous bugger he looks too. If that man’s ever had a shave every morning like a decent British person I’ll eat my hat – the Sunday one I keep for best.

    This country is going to rack and ruin and I blame that silly Harold Wilson. He should never have been Prime Minister.

    Never trust a man who smokes a pipe, my old Dad used to say. Now, your Churchill, he was a cigar smoker – only the best for him, and look what he did for the country. That Clement Attlee was the start of the rot, paying people when they couldn’t get a job because they wouldn’t get off their lazy arses. Mind you, I’m not saying people should starve completely.

    See, what the Labour Party don’t realise is that a spell in the trenches would do ’em all the world of good. None of this welfare rubbish. National Service. Just good old fashioned trench foot and a bit of “cop this Fritz, get a bayonet right up ya!”

    And don’t get me started on that Tony bloody Blair. It’s no good just tootling off to the Khyber Pass and pretending that’s a war.

    Your Afghans aren’t proper soldiers. They can’t even keep their trousers up. Anyone who wears a teatowel on his head needs to be strung up by the orchestras and hung out to dry. You need some of them weapons of mass destruction the Yanks couldn’t find to blow the whole bloody place to smithereens. That’d teach ’em, that would.

    No, see. If you’re going to have a war – and of course we have to have them and everyone with half a brain knows that – it’s got to be proper war, a nice, endless British war with everyone getting killed all the time. I don’t see why they couldn’t have kept the Great War going for another 80 years. That would have made real men of all these namby-pambys running about pretending to be King bloody Farouk of a Friday night.

    You didn’t hear old Joe down the road complaining when he got both his legs blown off.

    Pathetic, they are. They should bring back ‘anging too – for everyone.

    That Mrs Thatcher knew how to have a good war. She gave them dagos bloody what for.

    Of course, if we got Sheriff Joe here, they couldn’t wear those pink undies. That might be all right for those Yanks, but it’d never do here. Arrows, they should have. Convicts should have arrows, like when I was a boy.

    After I write to the Daily Mail about this, I’m off for a nice sitdown and a cup of tea, as soon as the next-door neighbour stops trying to hack my back door down. I wonder what he wants. Well, he’s not getting a cuppa, I can tell you. What’s this country coming too?

    Still, musn’t grumble!

  • Very funny, Stan. What do you do for an encore – a quick chorus of “Tie Me Kangaroo Down, Sport”?

  • Disgusted of Tunbridge Wells

    Well funny you should say that, it’s about time someone tied those kangaroos down.

    A right nuisance, they are, hoppin’ around the place and making a mess.

  • Cindy D

    someone has missed his calling lol

  • Stan, the master of pastiche…

    You weren’t one of the writers for Love Thy Neighbour back in the 70s, were you?

  • STM

    Doc, google “disgusted of tunbridge wells”, check out the letter writers’ guild letter from scotland (above) … and all this will make sense, I promise.

    Kind of 🙂

  • Stan, I know all about ‘Disgusted of Tunbridge Wells’ – (s)he’s a British cultural icon.

    High compliments on the impersonation. I used to write a few ‘Disgusted’-style letters myself, back when I edited the in-house magazine at my old library job. We had a ‘letters to the editor’ page and none of the lazy buggers who worked there ever bothered to send anything in, so we used to make them up!

    I looked at the Letter-Writers’ Guild site as you suggested. Pretty good… and if it weren’t for the fact that we Brits have elevated complaining to the status of a serious artform, I’d be inclined to think the whole thing was a spoof.

    And there is another, similar site actually called ‘Disgusted of Tunbridge Wells’, which you probably saw when you Googled. That one’s pretty funny as well.

  • tony

    I was watching a news clip on the pink suits sheriff Joe Arpaio makes prison inmates (like rapper DMX) wear, and I couldn’t help but think about the Stanford Prison Study. This attempt to emasculate the prisoners, and this insistence to go out of their way to make sure the prisoners dislike prison seems like a dangerous game to play – especially since it’s likely to lead to undue resentment on the part of the inmates, possibly boiling over into instability within the prison, and certainly into expressions of inmate resentment outside prison, adding to the ‘anti-system’ message our government agencies frown upon so much. And that’s not to mention the long-term effect such treatment may have on the inmates, if we remember that even the students in the Stanford Prison Study had difficulties in the aftermath of the study. (if you’re not familiar with the Stanford Prison Experience, you must check the study’s website page ).

    Sheriff Joe Arpaio, responsible for the pink clothing, says ‘They hate pink, why would I give ’em a color that DMH likes’ (maybe referring to DMX, but ironically invoking the Department of Mental Health instead). But why go out of his way to give his inmates *the* color that’ll create the most resentment, and for no reason other than to make sure prison is a detestable place? Chains, bars, fenced areas, all of these are detestable but they’re minimally justifiable because they fill a specific function – but the use of an emasculating color serves no such function, unless you count abusive psychological techniques as fair game. Joe adds “I hope [DMX] enjoys the way I run my hotel”, with an evil sarcastic tone, and receiving kudos from the newscaster for turning prison into a place DMX is sure to dislike. Many of us, like that newscaster, might chuckle and discreetly or indiscreetly agree, but is it ok for the executive branch to revoke your right to *fair* psychological treatment? Sheriffs, cops, corrections officers, probation officers – none of these have any right to *choose* what punishment a criminal is to receive – that is a right we’ve reserved strictly for the judges and the juries. This seems symptomatic of the same problems that led to the Guantanamo and Abu Ghraib scandals – while one passes as acceptable, both revoke – or attempt to revoke – the inmate’s right to fair psychological treatment and human dignity.

    Joe Arpaio appears obsessed with ego and fame, and these at the expense of the people whose safety and well-being he is charged with. Yes, criminals are to be punished, BUT punished according to the judges and juries, and NOT for personal satisfaction and gain.

    Tough becomes stupid when it is pointless and unnecessary – like a Rambo ramming a door down, when a simple turn of the handle would’ve opened it. Tough ceases to be tough and becomes stupid in the absence of good judgement, and becomes cruel in the absence of human ethics. Joe Arpaio is not tough, and it seems to me – if I can have my own cheap shot at insulting a man I have lost all regard for – he’s beyond ‘stupid’.

    It’s not the people, but his ego, that Joe works for – an ego bigger than Arizona.

  • Cannonshop

    Pink…wasn’t there a study that indicated Pink was a colour that reduces aggression?

  • Minih9108

    I think that if all jail systems were as tough as
    Sheriff Joe Arpaio then I think that the world would be a happier and safer place! People would not grow up learning that if you need a free meal or you can not make ends meet then just commit a crime and sit in jail while the innocent tax payer pay for you to be there. This is all bull shit and exploits each and every person in the US along with other country’s too. I personally encourage Sheriff Joe Arpaio and want all jail systems to follow his lead! If we as parents and citizens want to see the crime rates and inmate numbers rise while our high school graduate numbers plum it then you are just as much to blame as the people committing the crimes!

  • STM

    Cannon: “Pink…wasn’t there a study that indicated Pink was a colour that reduces aggression?”

    Might be something to that since this used to be a penal colony and men don’t worry about wearing pink here.

    I must confess to having a pair of pink and light blue floral hawaiian-style boardies.

    I wear ’em in the surf in summer, and no young bloke’s ever had a go at me.

    Whenever I wear them, blokes who are generally a bit aggro in the water end up giving me waves.

    Bizarrely, hair length is also an issue. When I’ve left my hair long for a while, no one drops in or tries to snake me or hassle me.

    But when I’ve had it cut, it’s on for young and old.

    Unless, of course, I’m wearing the pink boardies.

    Then we’re all smiles (apart from once :), and others have duly noted this strange phenomenon.

    You might be more right than you know there cannon.

  • Clavos

    Hey mate,

    Happy New Year!

    What does “snake me” mean in English?

  • STM

    G’day Clav … happy new year to you and yours too 🙂

    Snake: “Trying to cut your grass”, ie paddle around behind you, in front of you or around you when you’re in the take-off spot to put themselves in the zone ahead of you. A no no in surfing culture. But young punks do it all the time because they’re fitter and they can, which is why smarter older blokes ride bigger boards that paddle quickly.

    One guy I know designed one specially for older fat blokes in wetsuits … he calls it “The Equaliser”. Mine, appropriately, is called “The Fat Boy”. The key to all this is being able to compete on equal terms. Bigger boards for old guys = less time trying to paddle around with arms that feel like they’ve turned into wet sphagetti.

    The Queen’s English, all that. No wonder you blokes can’t understand it.

  • Joanne from Maine

    Joe Arpaio, the tough-guy sheriff who created the tent city and long ago sta rted making his prisoners wear pink, and eat bologna sandwiches, is not one bit sympathetic. He said Wednesday 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 Mouths!’

    Way To Go, Sheriff!

  • A Aroostook County Lady

    Way To Go, Sheriff!

    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 and enjoy things taxpayers can’t afford to have for themselves.

  • An Aroostook County Lady from Maine

    Way to go, Joe! Why didn’t someone think of this stuff years ago?????????
    Embarrassment?????????? You should be proud that there is a person that feels, if you comment the crime, you do the time and not in comfort. You think having them work is abuse? PLEASE!! What they are being made to do is not abuse, it’s learning a skill by working with the animals in the Animal Shelter. They are learning to grow their own food. Not being allowed to smoke is not a punishment. Good grave, you people who say he is an embarrassment should take a look at how many inmate leave his prison and commit a crime meaning they get to come back. His % of criminals returning is way down. Unlike most of the other prisons in the USA. Perhaps his way is working. For the people and their family’s that are the reason they landed in the prison, I’m sure do not feel the way they are being treated is Abuse!!! Joe is in trouble with the UCLA! Hang in there Joe, you should be proud of your accomplishments. Keep up the Good work!

  • STM

    What about rehabilitation???

    How does wearing pink undies stop people returning to Joe’s jail? Most of the cons there are low-risk, anyway, but the ones who are career criminals I bet will just get out more determined not to get caught.

    I’ve got a thoery on this and why they don’t go back: they move out of Maricopa Count and commit crimes elsewhere so they don’t end up wearing pink undies and eating baloney sandwiches for another 12 months.

    Which is great for Maricopa County, but not great for wherever else it is they move to.

    Besides, pastels and stripes are back in fashion. Pink is the new bright orange.

    For better effect, Joe should go for polka dots.

  • Interesting views here. The prevailing sentiment seems to be that while it is a given that Sheriff Joe subjects the inmates in his care to many acts of cruel degradation, the onus is on the inmate. To wit: If you don’t want to be treated that way, don’t do the crime!
    I have heard that line over and over from those who would defend Joe’s otherwise indefensible policies. But the flaw in the argument is obvious – or it least it shoud be.
    After all, I suspect the Roman citizens could have used the same defense when the subject of crucifixion arose or the English, when the subject of the practice of being drawn and quartered.
    THe story is told of Theodore Roosevelt’s visit to Russia (This is Theodore Sr., the father of the iconic U.S. president).
    While there, he happened to see a group of convicts who were being lined up for a brutal forced marched to the prison camps of Siberia. Among them, Roosevelt noticed, was a priest who went along the ranks,quietly speaking to these men and offering them words of comfort.
    Why would the priest be inclined to lend comfort to these criminals, Roosevelt asked.
    The priest responded: “We all we be accountable for the things we do on this earth. There is no escape, not even death absolves us of our responsibility to our fellow man.”
    Sheriff Joe has capitilized on the fears of frustrations of people for political gain. His self-promoted title as “America’s Toughest Sheriff” is really an misnomer. I would much prefer a sheriff who is tough on criminals BEFORE the handcuffs go on than AFTER. Don’t mistake toughness for cruelty.
    Ultimately, Sheriff Joe will be accountable.
    And so will we. Those who applaud – or simply ignore – such inhumanity will someday give an account for it.
    That Russian priest realized this.Sadly, too many others don’t.

  • I will also point out that the recidivism rate in Maricopa County is, in fact, virtually the same as it is in any jurisdiction of comparable size, contrary to the belief held by the lady from Maine. Again, Joe supporters play extremely loose with the facts.

  • This new approach to the correctional system in, of all places, conservative Kansas is both pragmatic and at least as effective as Sheriff Joe’s mob-pandering.

  • Rachael

    It’s my opinion that if you are a convicted felon, you should have no rights. Most jails and prisons are more like hotels. It’s about time this changes. I’m for the sheriff because I’m a law abiding citizen who doesn’t want one of these criminals to take away my civil rights by robbing, raping or killing me or another hard working member of our society AND I certainly don’t want one of these felons living it up while I’m 6 foot under!

  • pablo


    Since approximately 40% of those that are currently incarcerated, committed victimless crimes, do you support taking all of their rights away too? Just curious

  • Rachael should read up on some of the statistics of the incarceration rates due to “War on Drug.” Well nigh fifty percent or more are doing time for marijuana-related convictions.

  • pablo

    and I like marijuana 🙂

  • Well, if Rachael had her/his way, you’d be among that number.

  • pablo

    I am well aware of the Roger, which is part of the problem.

    When a government (granted that all do) decides (through the majority, oligarchy, or tyrant) to protect adult humans from themselves, it is not free.

  • The whole War on Drugs (just as War on Terror) have been misconceived ventures, designed perhaps for no other reason than to divert us from things that ought to count. Unfortunately, there was (and still is) considerable public support for these failed enterprises which, apart from eroding our basic freedoms, line up the pockets of dishonest businessmen, politicians, and government officials. The entire thing reeks with corruption.

  • Cindy D

    (hands pablo a list of her favorite things to do while stoned)–unfortunately far too long ago.

    Listen to: Eagles: Hotel California and Al Stewart: Year of the Cat album.

    These are best if you can arrange to be driving from L.A. to San Francisco. However, since you’d be stoned, you could probably just imagine that. 🙂

    Watch: The Wife by Tom Noonan*.

    *Tom Noonan is the coolest. He has an interactive world novel for anyone on the internet to write and modify chapters. I highly recommend that for you writers out there.

    He also offers 9 day workshops for $750 to serious actors, screen-writers and directors. Maximum 12 participants.

    Although, this is not an ad. Merely evidence of his coolness.

  • Harry

    I love the guy. Don’t know what the people think that want the prison stystem to be a 5 star hotel.

  • Harry

    Slim Smith, The fact is just that it is not at outragious costs that that prison system is maintained. I don’t like to have to work to pay for the prison system.

  • Judy Mae

    I am the mother of a son that took the wrong path many years ago. I love my son and am very well aware of the good qualities burried deep inside of him, however he made his choices a long time ago and no-one forced him to.He spent years in and out of jail and always got out and went right back to his hateful ways. I begged the judges to send him to a facility that would put the fear of God in him but I got no interrest ! He is now 39 years old and in his last stint in prison he finally got sent to hell in a hand basket ! Thank God ! This time when he got out he announced that he never wanted to go back there again. In the last four years he has paid off his fines and worked everyday and is now starting his own business ! Over 30 years of his life were wasted because no one was tough enough on him to make him see the error of his ways and put the fear of God in him. Now he has and he is now becoming a positive member of society. I don’t have to go around being embarrassed to be known as his mother. I have 5 sons and this is the only one that went this way. I’m glad he is now going in the right dirrection before someone got killed or he got killed. I wish Sheriff Joe could have been in charge of him years ago. These prisoners don’t need people worring about their civil rights. They don’t worry about it or anyone elses rights until it is convient for them. Most of these guys are not first timers they have been in trouble since they were teen agers and their parents were at a loss as to what to do about them. Once they are locked up Sheriff Joe knows exactly what to do with them! If you don’t like it here don’t come back ! Thank You Sheriff Joe !

  • doris butler, rosevine, tx

    I think, if you don’t like Sheriff Joe, you are probably a “law-breaker” and are afraid either you, or someone you know, will get put in his Jail! ha! (although i’ll bet many inmates would rather be in his jail than in some others.) “If you don’t want to do the time, then don’t do the crime!”!!!!

  • California Granny

    So the sheriff is having INMATES wear pink. So what.If these CRIMINALS don’t like the color, stay on the right side of the law. I for one would appreciate if these crooks would stay out of trouble, so my tax dollars would go to better use than for these freeloaders upkeep. But some idiots don’t know right from wrong and rather do their own thing, which is braking our laws. So be it, but be happy they have something to wear and don’t have to run in their birthday suites all day long. Besides their free meals, TV, lodging and such is all compliments of US tax payers. Me, for one. Put their sorry asses to work, like the rest of us to pay for it. Good going, sheriff. Keep it up.

  • R

    I for one, like what this guy is doing! That’s the problem these days is no respect of others! Kids think they can walk on parents and even hit them, but heaven forbid we spank our child for that!!! If someone agrees that treating prisoners should be like living in the Ritz, which most are….well think on this: what if your child was molested, raped or killed….or a loved one killed by a serial killer..put yourself in one of those people’s shoes for a moment? Then would you feel they deserve to be treated better then most living homeless, and getting wonderful healthcare, when most who are trying the best they can don’t even have healthcare. Maybe they should also look at the return rate on this prison….a recidivism study found that only eight to ten percent of the 2000 men and women who graduated from it have returned, vastly better than the nation’s 60-70 per cent recidivism rate.