Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s Tent City (Part 6 by Guest Blogger Daniel Horne)
Daniel Horne spent almost a year in Tent City. He is a business executive, husband, and father of two. Following a car accident, Daniel was not charged with drunk driving, but with aggravated assault – in Arizona’s legal system a car can be classified as a weapon you assault someone with. He is the author of the book, Accidental Felons and blog.
Each troublesome event in our pod brought me closer to the other prisoners and their stories. Most of the men were going to prison. Some told me that their transfer had been delayed indefinitely. Information learned from their attorneys was that the pipeline to prison was crammed to the bursting point. There was a backlog of bodies being kept at the jail until bunks opened at the prison’s in-take facility located in another area of Phoenix. It, too, was overflowing with prisoners waiting until a prison bunk became available. Word in the jail was that the state was working desperately to farm some of the existing prisoner population out to for-profit prisons with facilities in other states to handle the sudden explosion in the prisoner population over the last year. Andrew Thomas had single-handedly created a logistical nightmare for the state’s penal system with his ruthless abuse of justice. Like Steven King’s novel, Storm of The Century, Andrew Thomas seemed to say, “Give me what I want, and I’ll go away.” What he wanted, no one knew for sure, but based on his actions, it seemed clear to me that he was setting himself up for a future shot at the Governor’s job. I had come to believe that he was sacrificing thousands of county residents into the justice system to build a heretofore non-existent political base for his future aspirations.
One young man, Lee, had spent most of his adult life in the Florence prison. He was twenty-eight and had only been out of prison for a few weeks when he was arrested for a probation violation. Lee hadn’t finished high school, but other inmates in prison had taught him to read at the college level. His vocabulary was that of an eighth grader in ordinary conversation, but when the topic turned to government, Lee had a PhD’s scope of knowledge.
“This is all in the Bible you know,” Lee said.
“What’s that?” I asked. “You mean so many people getting locked up?”
“No, that the evil men are running our government. The angels of Satan walk among us. As public actors, they parrot the words that the public wants to hear, but behind the scenes they are destroying everything America stands for.”
“Humm... that’s an interesting proposition. So, you believe this is the end of the Earth, do you?”
“It’s the beginning of the end. One world government is beginning to form. It is the precursor to make way for the Son of Satan to come to the Earth and rule the world. Rome is forming again as was predicted in the prophesy of Daniel, Chapter 7, Verse 23. The European Union is predominantly the old Roman Empire being reborn. ‘The fourth beast is a fourth kingdom that will appear on the earth. It will be different from all other kingdoms and will devour the whole earth, trampling it down and crushing it. The ten horns are ten kings who will come from this kingdom. After them another king will arise, different from earlier ones; he will subdue three kings. He will speak against the Most High and oppress his saints and try to change the set times and the laws. The saints will be handed over to him for a time, times, and half a time.”
“I’ve never thought about it that way,” I said. “Where did you learn these things?”
“There’s not a lot to do in prison, so I read. I’m convinced that America will join the European Union in the next thirty years to avoid a takeover by China. The dollar will be dead, and we will be using the Euro as currency. The Euro has a similar image on it to the Mark of The Beast which Daniel foretold. I’ve got some books in my cell if you’d like to read them.”
“Thanks, Lee, but I’m reading the Gospels right now, and I want to finish the part of the Bible that brings hope and soft hearts to men, the part where Jesus tells us to love other people with as much heart as we love ourselves.”
The subject changed, and I was able to get Lee to tell me his story. When he was six, he ran away from home because his mother was a crack addict and her boyfriend beat him. He lived in a bad part of town, South Phoenix, and he spent months sleeping in parks or anywhere else he could find safety. He remembered being constantly afraid as a young boy. Lee started drinking beer when he was fourteen and eventually discovered street drugs. It wasn’t long until he was introduced to crystal meth, the drug of choice by many addicts in the low income areas of Phoenix. Of course, the price of drugs rise when the government cracks down on these illicit substances — which drives up property crime. That led to a car theft when he was eighteen to get drug money. He was sentenced to six years in Florence-West, a for-profit prison. Infractions of the rules had extended his incarceration for three additional years.
Phoenix police had happened upon Lee, searched his truck, and found a handgun inside. He was arrested for violating his probation and was waiting to be sentenced. He was told by his public defender that he might get as many as ten years or more. Lee was ambivalent about going back to prison. Life on the outside, what most people call freedom, had been a dangerous and scary place for most of Lee’s life. In prison, he had friends and he felt safe. He liked his time on the outside but was going home to see his friends. It didn’t occur to him that he might not be sentenced to the same facility or that the for-profit prisons were infamous for shipping prisoners out of state to meet their filled-bed quotas and keep Wall Street happy, and I didn’t see it as my job to tell him.
Here is the link for Part 5: http://jonsjailjournal.blogspot.com/2009/11/sheriff-joe-arpaios-tent-city-part-5-by.html
Here is the link to Daniel’s website and book: http://accidentalfelons.com/
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Shaun P. Attwood