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 so 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, since it has zero nutritional value. 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'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.
With Phoenix temperatures sometimes hotter than usual (116 degrees set the latest new record), the associated press reported that 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 one hot day, 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 at the time had lived in the tents for one 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 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!"
A hotline launched by the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office encourages residents to report information about undocumented immigrants has some critics angry, claiming that it could spur racial profiling.
The hotline, believed to be the first of its kind in the nation, comes in the wake of several local and state initiatives designed to tackle issues left by the federal government's failure to enforce immigration law. One of them is a new state Employer-Sanctions law that imposes stiff penalties on businesses that intentionally hire undocumented workers. Another is an ordinance passed by the Mesa City Council that empowers its police force to slap drivers with a parking ticket for stopping to pick up day laborers at two intersections that are well-known gathering spots. The hotline is meant to gather tips from the public about criminal activity, like human smuggling. Within the first 18 hours of its operation, the hotline netted about 100 calls, ranging from reports of suspected drop houses to businesses hiring undocumented workers, sheriff's deputies said. Critics, like Elias Bermudez of Immigrants Without Borders, said Sheriff Joe Arpaio's tool will likely compromise civil rights. "He is causing hardship and pain to people whose only crime they've committed is coming here undocumented to feed their families, and that's sad," Bermudez said.
Arpaio downplayed racial profiling at two news briefings called to address the new program and stressed his deputies would only approach those targeted during normal investigations.
"We're not going to go out on a street corner and round up people because they look like they're from a foreign country," he said.
Arpaio also addressed another fear voiced by hotline opponents. "Critics think people are going to report their neighbors," Arpaio said. "We didn't get anyone reporting their neighbors out of the 100 calls that initially came in," he said.
Deputies said they don't know yet how many calls the hotline will receive or what protocol they'll use to decide which tips to investigate. The hotline is part of a new crackdown the sheriff's office has launched to combat human smuggling of undocumented immigrants.
Arpaio deputized 64 Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents so they can act as both federal and local law enforcement agents. "We are quickly becoming a full-fledged anti-illegal immigration agency," Arpaio said.
In another move, Arpaio said about 160 armed sheriff's deputies, reserves and volunteer posse, who cross-trained to enforce immigration law, will begin saturating Valley cities as well as roadways and highways commonly used as transportation corridors for human trafficking.
Arpaio said deputies target vehicles commonly used to move human cargo to destinations inside and outside the county. If a vehicle is stopped for probable cause, deputies can question occupants about their immigration status and arrest and jail them if they're undocumented, Arpaio said.
The sheriff's office started arresting undocumented immigrants in the spring of 2006.
There's MUCH more to know about Sheriff Joe!
Maricopa County was spending approximately $18 million a year on stray animals, like cats and dogs. Sheriff Joe offered to take the department over, and the County Supervisors said OK.
The animal shelters are now all staffed and operated by prisoners. They feed and care for the strays. Every animal in his care is taken out and walked twice daily. He now has prisoners who are experts in animal nutrition and behavior. They give great classes for anyone who'd like to adopt an animal. He has literally taken stray dogs off the street, given them to the care of prisoners, and had them place in dog shows.
The best part? His budget for the entire department is now under $3 million. Adopted animals are neutered and receive all shots -- all for a cost of $78.
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.