Sheriff Joe Arpaio's Towers Jail in Phoenix
Postcards from Long Island (5)
Long Island - Promising young cellmate I taught to trade the financial markets. Released on the 11th of December '05 and rearrested this year. Alleged to have committed forgery and hit an officer with a car. He is writing from Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s Towers jail.
On the front page of yesterday's paper, Joe Arpaio is charging us $1.25 for meals! He was quoted saying "it costs me $2 a day to feed them, so I'm giving them a bargain." What a scumbag!
Do you remember me telling you about the federal judge that finally ruled on the lawsuit against Arpaio [Graves v. Arpaio]? I was able to get the transcripts from the ruling. They’re extremely long with a lot of obscure legal verbiage. However I’m going to list for you on the following postcards the rulings that Arpaio must comply with by Jan 9th. Some of them he has already, reluctantly, complied with.
Before I go any further, my daughter turned 1 year old on Dec 4th. She’s beautiful and it’s beginning to look like I’m not going to miss too much of her life. I’m in such a better place mentally and spiritually. This year has opened my eyes to a lot of things. Believe it or not a man named Father Thomas comes and sees me once a week and has helped me tremendously.
Here we go with some of the court ruling…
It has to be therefore ordered, adjudged, and decreed
1) Only 2 people per cell in Towers jail, not 3.
2) Housing temperatures do not exceed 85 degrees.
3) Provide cleaning supplies to all cells.
4) Provide functioning and sanitary toilets and sinks.
5) Pre-screening for segregation issues.
6) Ready access to medical and mental health care needs.
7) Prescription medication without interruption.
8) One hour of rec at least 4 days a week.
9) Provide food that meets the U.S. Department of Agriculture Dietary Guidelines for Americans.
10) Inmates in psychiatric unit are visually observed.
11) Maximum Towers jail population is 880. Up until recently we had 1500 people triple bunked.
12) Efforts made to eradicate rats and mice.
That’s pretty much all of the highlights. This place is still absolutely miserable, but it’s getting better. Now we’re dealing with the blatant retaliation from the officers. They’re being forced to do all kinds of extra work, so of course we’re being locked down and put on restriction for any little thing. For example, our last round of restriction was for 96 hours for excessive linen in our cells. Basically, extra towels and boxers. Excuse me for wanting to change boxers more than once a week! Or maybe use a fresh towel every once in a while.
Take care, Shaun
You might think that the erratic behavior of Joe Arpaio, the brutal televised death of Robert Cotton and cover up by the MCSO, the scathing rebuke of Arpaio's management of the Maricopa County Jails by the U.S. District Court in the Graves v. Arpaio decision, the raid on Mesa City Hall resulting in the arrest of a handful of cleaning ladies, and his continued abuse of his authority would continue to drive his poll numbers into the ground.
You would be right.
Thanks to these events and others, recent polls show that Joe Arpaio's approval ratings with the public are now well below the 50% level for the first time in his 16 long years as Sheriff.
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Shaun P. Attwood