The best part? His budget for the entire department is now less than $3 million per year. 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. You might to wonder when other states might take a look at the way he runs the jail system and copy some of his ideas.
He has a huge farm 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.
Guess what...he was reelected in 2006 with 83% of the vote.
For those of you who may not be familiar with Joe Arpaio, he is the Maricopa Arizona County Sheriff who keeps getting elected over and over. Here are a few reasons:
- Sheriff Joe Arpaio created the "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, took away their weights and cut off all but "G" movies.
- He started chain gangs so the inmates could do free work on county and city projects.
- Then He Started Chain Gangs For Women So He Wouldn't Get Sued For Discrimination.
- 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 only to let in the Disney and Weather channels. 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 since it has zero nutritional value. When the inmates complained, he told them, "This isn't The Ritz...if you don't like it, don't come back".
- He bought Newt Gingrich's 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:
The Associated Press reports 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 we are in a furnace," said James Zanzot, an inmate who has lived in the TENTS for 1 year. "It's inhumane".
Joe Arpaio, the tough-guy sheriff who created the tent city and long ago started 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 damned mouths!"
Way to go Sheriff Joe! Maybe if all prisons were like this one there would be less crime and/or repeat offenders. Criminals need to be punished for their crimes. Does the guy have an ego, you bet but guess what, he gets shit done. Period.