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Crime Doesn't Pay - Especially 'Round These Parts!


Dr. Myatt and Nurse Mark live in Arizona - a place that retains many "Old West" values but like other parts of the US must deal with modern criminals. Maricopa County, just to the south of us, has a Sheriff with a solution that some call brutal, and others call effective. There is certainly no doubt that no-one who spends time in the Maricopa County Sheriff's jail ever wants to go back there!

We recently received the following information from a HealthBeat News subscriber:

For those not familiar with Joe Arpaio, he is the Maricopa County Sheriff in Arizona. First elected in 1993 he keeps on being re-elected, over and over. Here are some reasons why this might be:

  • []Sheriff Joe Arpaio created the infamous "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
  • He took away inmates weight training equipment
  • He cut off all but "G" rated movies
  • He started chain gangs so the inmates could do free work on county and city projects.
  • Then he started chain gangs for women stating "I don't believe in discrimination in my jail system. Crime knows no gender and neither should punishment"
  • 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 again and 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 to protect his guards and the inmates from hot coffee assaults by inmates and to cut costs. 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' 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.

More On The Arizona Sheriff:

[]With temperatures being even hotter than usual in Phoenix, the Associated Press reported in a July 25, 2003 article:

About 2,000 inmates living in a barbed-wire-surrounded tent encampment at the Maricopa County Jail have been given permission to strip down to their government-issued pink boxer shorts.

On Wednesday, hundreds of men wearing boxers were either curled up on their bunk beds or chatted in the tents, which reached 138 degrees inside the week before. Many were also swathed in wet, pink towels as sweat collected on their chests and dripped down to their pink socks.

"It feels like you are in a furnace," said James Zanzot, an inmate who has lived in the tents for 1 years. "It's inhumane."

Joe Arpaio, the tough-guy sheriff who created the tent city and long ago started making his prisoners wear pink, is not sympathetic. He said Wednesday that he told the inmates: "It's 120 degrees in Iraq and the soldiers are living in tents and they didn't commit any crimes, so shut your mouths."

There are many who hate Sheriff Joe - many call him brutal, sadistic, and inhumane. For all those, there must be plenty more who are saying "Way To Go, Sheriff!" and thinking that maybe if all prisons were like this one there would be a lot less crime and/or repeat offenders. It is obvious that Maricopa citizens feel that 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.


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