"Meet Joe Arpaio, my favorite High Sheriff...also a fave in Arizona's Maricopa County... where voters have been re-electing him by wide margins since 1992."
My favorite sheriff:
He has jailed reporters,
upset judges, been sued
by cons, and soon to be
Fox TV reality show...
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Crime victims love Sheriff Joe Arpaio;
Social do-gooders hate his guts;
Arizona voters keep re-electing him...
Sheriff Joe is a reality show waiting to happen.
Meet Sheriff Joe Arpaio. He thrives on controversy. The gent runs a jail in Arizona's Maricopa County. His jurisdiction includes the city of Phoenix, a beautiful municipality with all the usual big-city crime problems. Add to that an hourly influx of illegals flooding across the Rio Grande border, and...well, call Sheriff Joe.
Sheriff Joe has a humongous capacity for attracting controversy. It stems from his unorthodox way of housing arrestees who have either been convicted or are awaiting trial. Street cops love Joe. Prosecutors should. No one can say that inmates run Joe's jail. He gives "hard time" a reality meaning.
Set the scene: A Maricopa County prosecutor convinces a jury that Mr. Defendant is guilty. The jury convicts him. Enter hard time - Sheriff Joe style. The guilty verdict is the criminal's ticket to Sheriff Joe's Tent City Jail - where temperatures average in the 90s and top out at around 120. Social do-gooders are offended, but taxpayer/voters of Maricopa County are not.
Maricopa County jail cells are painted pink. Inmates get clean jump suits - and underwear. His budget must pay, so Sheriff Joe makes them a pretty pink.
Jail inmates spend rap time eating Sheriff Joe's specialty: 30 -40-cent meals.
In Joe's jails, there is no smoking. Porno magazines are not permitted. Even coffee is banned. Sheriff Joe says there is no nutritional value in coffee, so....no joe.
For unusual punishment, Sheriff Joe once ordered Newt Gingrich's right wing video lecture series piped in for prisoner "enjoyment."
Media sorts call Sheriff Joe a publicity hound. So, let me count the ways, but he is always an advocate for the people - uppercase that to The People.
How's all this playing with his county voters? The last time on the ballot he won Maricopa County with more than 80 percent of the vote. My question: Why haven't other counties in this country adopted the Arpaio Program?
A post thought on my own cases: After my first six (of twenty) years as a prosecutor, I stopped tallying cumulative sentences for my defendants once I hit 4,556 years. Using a modified Arpaio Program in my county, I wonder how much could have been saved for the taxpayers.
© 2009 C.A. Nix