Never one to shy away from controversy, Maricopa County, Ariz., Sheriff Joe Arpaio announced some strict penalties for unpatriotic inmates.
After making national headlines for forcing men in custody to wear pink underwear and housing inmates in tents to deal with overcrowding, Arpaio put criminals on notice that any disrespect to the American flag will not be tolerated.
Stickers of Old Glory are being affixed in each cell, reports indicate, and anyone caught damaging the image will have his or her diet temporarily limited to bread and water. In an effort to save money, Arpaio has already implemented a vegetarian menu at the county jail and inmates must work to pay for their meals.
Further driving home the patriotic theme, local media reports the sheriff announced the National Anthem and God Bless America will be played each day. Regardless of their personal heritage, those in custody will be expected to join in the ritual by singing along.
As with almost any policy endorsed by the controversial Arpaio, leftists were quick to criticize the latest change. A man of obvious conviction, however, he continues to stand firm for what he believes is best for the nation, his county, and the residents who have repeatedly elected him to his current post.
While his detractors continue to portray him as a xenophobe, millions of Americans are proud to stand with Arpaio and others who defend the rule of law under which this nation was founded. Teaching respect for those laws to a group found to have violated them should be a requirement of all correctional facilities. Instead, it is used as an excuse to disparage one of the nation’s strongest law enforcement leaders.
Meanwhile, Arpaio’s other policies work together to create a jail environment to which inmates will try very hard to avoid returning.
–B. Christopher Agee
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