Debate Magazine

“America’s Toughest Sheriff” is Victims Hero

Posted on the 28 July 2011 by Technocowgirl @TechnoCowgirl

Joe Arpaio

Image by Gage Skidmore via Flickr

   Media crowned “America’s Toughest
Sheriff” Joe Arpaio is under constant attack for his tough programs and
treatment of inmates housed at Maricopa County Jail in Arizona. However, the
message that he sends and money he saves has gotten “Sheriff Joe” re-elected
five consecutive terms. Activists march with signs of disapproval, while
victims sigh with relief and dance in victory –finally, true justice; Sheriff
Joe Arpaio has given victims justice, and the criminals what they deserve,
making him America’s Top Cop.

   “Sheriff Joe” banned cigarettes, porn,
movies, and even makes inmates pay for their own meals; moreover, “America’s
Toughest Sheriff” put America’s toughest criminals in pink underwear and socks.
“Of equal success and notoriety are his chain gangs, which contribute thousands
of dollars of free labor to the community” (, 2011); now that is debt
reduction at its finest. “He even stopped serving salt and pepper to save tax
payers $20,000 a year” (, 2011); all American penal systems would be
wise to immolate “Sheriff Joe’s” tough programs and policies.

   “It feels like we are in a furnace”,
said James Zanzot, an inmate who has lived in the tents [at Tent City] for 1 ½ years.
“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 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”
(Truth or, 2011).


   An Army Vet, Arpaio has a unique
perspective and approach. Why should prisoners be treated and housed better
than our military soldiers? They should not; furthermore, criminals should not
have more rights and better health care than their victims. And, just for those
out there who believe in “victimless” crime –there is no such thing. Victims
are tired of a coddling justice system that has revolving doors, simply because
jail is more ‘comfortable’ than the streets. The justice system “ought” to make
confinement so unbearable that offenders would rather ‘go straight’ than go to

   Similarly, victims are tired of
being victimized twice; once by the offender, then again by the justice system.
Victims want more law enforcement officers and policies such as Sheriff Joe
Arpaio and his tough policies that make criminals think twice before offending.
Is it worth it? Is it worth living in a 120 degree tent, in pink underwear,
eating bologna sandwiches, limited television, and being chained next to
another inmate working for ‘The Man’ for free; in addition too, no coffee,
salt, pepper, porn, or rights whatsoever? In America, if you act like an un-socialized
animal, we will treat you like one! Recidivism would be no more if these ‘tough
love’ policies were implemented Nationwide; moreover, the money saved could
help fund much needed programs –a perfect economic stimulus and debt reform
package. We might even save Medicare and Medicaid, insuring that ‘grandma’ will
get her medication.

(2011, July 26). About Sheriff Joe.

or Fiction. (2011, July 27). The Pink-Clad Prisoners of Sherriff Joe Arpaio in

   Arizona –truth.

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