Target: Sheriff Joe Arpaio of Arizona
Goal: Condemn sheriff for inhumane treatment of inmates
Joe Arpaio, Sheriff of the Maricopa Country in Arizona, is punishing 38 inmates by serving them only bread and water. This comes after the inmates defaced American flags in their jail cells. For their unpatriotic acts, the sheriff said the inmates will eat bread and water for seven days. Denounce the militant and inappropriate way Arpaio runs his prison, and indeed his county.
Arpaio stated in interview that the inmates defaced the flags in many ways: tearing them apart, writing on them, stepping on them, and tossing them into the toilet or trash. He feels that the inmates are destroying government property and is punishing them for their actions. The prison has also been making a push towards the patriotic. The “Star Spangled Banner” plays every morning, and “God Bless America” plays at night. Arpaio started placing American flags in the inmates’ cells during November and has since experienced backlash. Arpaio’s handling of his inmates and his county have caught the interest of the general public; he stands accused prejudice and racial discrimination.
Arpaio has also issued pink underwear to the men detained in the county’s jail and removed salt and pepper from the inmates’ meals, stating that it would save tax payer money. Due to Arpaio’s racial and ethnic profiling, it will cost the county at least $22 million. In May of 2013, a court ruled that Arpaio’s office routinely profiled Latinos during traffic and immigration patrols.
While prison inmates lose several rights while incarcerated, they shouldn’t have their rights to freedom of expression removed. Ignoring the rights of inmates does nothing to rehabilitate them into functioning and positive members of society. Sign this petition and condemn the sheriff for violating the inmates’ rights.
Dear Sheriff Joe Arpaio,
I am writing this letter to express my distaste towards what you are doing with the inmates in the Maricopa County. You are giving these inmates bread and water for the next seven days because they defaced the American flag. While unpatriotic, these inmates shouldn’t be denied their rights to freedom of speech, nor should they be punished for it. While I understand that inmates lose several of their human rights while incarcerated, the right to freedom of speech and expression shouldn’t be one of them. By punishing these 38 inmates, you are making them regress. Instead of rehabilitating them into better people, you are furthering their resentment towards society.
I am astounded that you are punishing the inmates for doing this, and would urge you to reconsider your actions. I would hate to see these inmates come to resent America because the sheriff treated them so inhumanly.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: adnrey via Deviantart