The Latest in Shaming Punishments

Leave it to Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio to come up with yet another shaming punishment. Forcing male inmates to wear pink underwear, and putting teens on chain gangs to bury the dead wasn't enough. Now there's this:

Women inmates in Maricopa County have been on chain gangs since 1996.

Now, 15 of them will wear T-shirts that say "I was a drug addict" as they clean trash from a Phoenix street on Monday.

What's wrong with shaming punishments? Everything. Here's Jonathan Turley in a terrific op-ed on the subject.

As I wrote here,

There are other alternative sentencing solutions out there that should be tried, and if they are lacking, then judges should spend their creative energy coming up with better ones that don't demean and further alienate the offender.

< Late Night: Son of a Preacher Man | Phoenix Mayor Asks for Investigation of Sheriff Joe Arpaio's Immigration Crackdowns >
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    Hate To Think This Way (5.00 / 2) (#1)
    by squeaky on Mon Apr 14, 2008 at 01:58:56 AM EST
    But I hope he screws up, gets busted and is given a taste of his own medicine. The guy really is a twist case. Sicko.

    he's a special (5.00 / 1) (#2)
    by phillhrrll on Mon Apr 14, 2008 at 02:27:45 AM EST
    kind of stupid. It must suck to be locked for wanting to feel good (astoundingly it's illegal,) then some supposed public servant(your employee)decides it's his sworn duty to humiliate you, for his own sadistic sense of righteousness. And we're enlightened...

    I got into it with a relative about him (none / 0) (#3)
    by splashy on Mon Apr 14, 2008 at 04:04:58 AM EST
    The way he makes the prisoners suffer in the Arizona heat in tents, and other things, just riles me.

    Especially considering that most of those prisoners are in for drug use with drugs that should be legal and regulated like alcohol is. Non-violent prisoners shouldn't be punished like that.

    Arpaio is a thug and scoundrel. (none / 0) (#4)
    by magisterludi on Mon Apr 14, 2008 at 07:09:45 AM EST
     And an attention case. All the prisoners (sub-humans) ready to be conscripted players in his sadistic spectacles... the man is a walking talking cancer on our "justice" system.

    This story... (none / 0) (#5)
    by white n az on Mon Apr 14, 2008 at 07:35:31 AM EST
    doesn't begin to describe the insidiousness of Joe Arpaio.

    He is a shameless self promoter and continually comes up with ways to add cruelty to the treatment of his prisoners.

    If it's not the chain gangs (and yes, they are chained to each other), the pink underwear, the green baloney they are fed, the 'chair', etc.

    Under Arpaio's leadership, the county has paid out over 40 million dollars in wrongful death settlements.

    He operates with a large public relations staff to offset the fact that the newspapers and television stations hate him (right wing radio loves him). Even the other Republicans hate him.

    With his pal Andy Thomas (affectionately nicknamed 'Candy'), they locked up the publisher and owner of the local paper 'New Times' for the crime of publishing Arpaio's home address (legal in newspapers but apparently not legal on the Internet)...of course this charge has been tossed and is certain to end up being another settlement paid by the taxpayers.

    So why does he keep getting re-elected? Because so many of the retirement communities buy into his 'America's Toughest Sheriff' shtick.

    I am amazed that more people havent (none / 0) (#6)
    by athyrio on Mon Apr 14, 2008 at 09:36:48 AM EST
    been harmed thru this as living in tents in Arizona in the summer could be hard on someones heart if it is weak to begin with....It could sure do me in...What an awful human being...

    I had some of my (none / 0) (#7)
    by bjorn on Mon Apr 14, 2008 at 09:41:02 AM EST
    students spend a night in Tent city once.  They thought Sheriff Joe was "cute" until they saw what it was really like!  When I see the men or women along the road in their striped uniforms, I feel like I am back in the 1800s or something.  Putting "Drug Addict" on their uniform is not going to accomplish anything but humiliation.  Thank you Jeralyn for helping to expose Sheriff Joe's tactics.  I wish we could vote him out of office. He is a HUGE animal advocate, which is ironic in many ways, but that always seems to help him stay in office for some reason.

    From my reading (none / 0) (#8)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Mon Apr 14, 2008 at 01:05:32 PM EST
    I am not convinced that the 15 women are being forced to wear the T-shirts:
    the women have such sad stories about what drugs have done to their lives and that they want to help others make better choices than they did.

    If they are wearing the T-shirts voluntarily, I have no problem with it.

    If they are being forced to wear the T-shirts, that's a different story.