Until recently, the facts which had long ago formed my opinion of Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio were rather vague. I recalled that while in office, he had developed policies and procedures which he intended would humiliate detainees awaiting trial in the several county jails in Maricopa County under his jurisdiction. But even unable to immediately recall the specific facts which were the basis of that opinion; my best recollection was that I had concluded he was an incompetent public official who, assuming his election to the office of Sheriff by the citizens of Maricopa County resulted from a lawful process; should nonetheless be removed from office by appropriate state or federal authorities.
Recently, I learned that, some months ago, Mr. Arpaio had initiated some kind of investigation into the authenticity of the birth certificate released by President Obama in April 2011, the results of which investigation he would unveil at a press conference scheduled on March 1. Actually, a reader of this blog told me. My first thought was, ‘This guy – Arpaio – is a piece of work.’ At the same time, I was relieved to think that most of his ‘supporters’ would, at last, share my sentiment, now realizing it takes a special kind of con to both hint that the investigation he headed had uncovered shocking facts related to the authenticity of that document (which facts are now in his sole possession and are worthy of a press conference) and yet, at this same time, delay, for whatever reason, the release of these facts.
My reader asked my opinion of this latest wrinkle in the birther bonanza. I replied by predicting what would be Arpaio’s ‘magic key’ to unlocking the whole birth certificate puzzle. The reader asked whether I thought he – the reader – should send Mr. Arpaio some of the work he had completed on the nature of that same document. I said no, suggesting that his – the reader’s – work which would otherwise survive public scrutiny would be irredeemably tainted by any such association with Mr. Arpaio; and, besides, he – Arpaio – would likely steal his work.
I decided to write this article predicting what Arpaio could possibly say at the press conference he scheduled on March 1 (tomorrow). And, as a prerequisite, I began to research both the history of the sheriff’s tenure in office and, the circumstances of his latest foray into the public’s consciousness. Sadly, I discovered not only that people are actually hopefully anticipating he might dispel questions as to the Constitutional eligibility of President Obama, once and for all; but also that the same circus of characters – WND/Western Center for Journalism; and artIIsuperpac – have not only joined but also are producing the spectacle.
First, a little about the man, in his own words. I intentionally link here to the site called Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office, a ‘.org’ and not a ‘.gov site.’ excerpted immediately below. Note the flavor of the narrative presented by Mr. Arpaio, in stark contrast to the facts contained in the additional information which follows, provided by AZ law enforcement officials; the courts; and the U.S. Department of Justice. (I have placed in ‘bold’ those items relating to topics which are further referenced below in those less fawning narratives.)
In 1992, Arpaio successfully campaigned to become the Sheriff of Maricopa County. Since then he has been reelected to an unprecedented five 4-year terms. During his tenure as Sheriff of Maricopa County, Arpaio has consistently earned high public approval ratings.
With over five decades experience in law enforcement, Arpaio knows what the public wants, “The public is my boss,” he says, “so I serve the public.” He has served them well by establishing several unique programs.
Arpaio has between 7500 – 10,000 inmates in his jail system. In August, 1993, he started the nation’s largest Tent City for convicted inmates. Two thousand convicted men and women serve their sentences in a canvas incarceration compound. It is a remarkable success story that has attracted the attention of government officials, presidential candidates, and media worldwide.
Of equal success and notoriety are his chain gangs, which contribute thousands of dollars of free labor to the community. The male chain gang, and the world’s first-ever female and juvenile chain gangs, clean streets, paint over graffiti, and bury the indigent in the county cemetery.
Also impressive are the Sheriff’s get tough policies. For example, he banned smoking, coffee, movies, pornographic magazines, and unrestricted TV in all jails. He has the cheapest meals in the U.S. too. The average meal costs between 15 and 40 cents, and inmates are fed only twice daily, to cut the labor costs of meal delivery. He even stopped serving them salt and pepper to save tax payers $20,000 a year.
Another program Arpaio is very well known for is the pink underwear he makes all inmates wear. Years ago, when the Sheriff learned that inmates were stealing jailhouse white boxers, Arpaio had all inmate underwear dyed pink for better inventory control. The same is true for the Sheriff’s handcuffs. When they started disappearing, he ordered pink handcuffs as a replacement.
Arpaio has started another controversial program on the website WWW.MCSO.org. Mugshots of all those arrested (about 300 per day) are posted on the Sheriff’s website as they are booked and processed into jail. Just under a million hits daily come into the website, making it one of the most visible law enforcement sites on the internet.
In addition to these tough measures, the Sheriff has launched rehabilitative programs like “Hard Knocks High,” the only accredited high school under a Sheriff in an American jail, and ALPHA, an anti-substance-abuse program that has greatly reduced recidivism.
As chief law enforcement officer for the county, Arpaio continues to reduce crime with hard-hitting enforcement methods. His deputies and detectives have solved several high-profile murder cases, including numerous child murders. The posse, whose ranks have increased to 3,000 members under Arpaio, is the nation’s largest volunteer posse. Posse men and women help in search and rescue and other traditional police work as well as in special operations like rounding up deadbeat parents, fighting prostitution, patrolling malls during holidays, and investigating animal cruelty complaints. The posse’s contributions are invaluable and essentially free to taxpayers.
But then, there is this article by Bill Louis, a former El Mirage assistant police chief.
Sheriff Arpaio failed victims of El Mirage, by Bill Louis,
I have first-hand knowledge of the incredible level of neglect on the part of Sheriff Joe Arpaio. I find it difficult to refrain from comment after seeing his “apology” to the victims of the dozens of serious sex crimes and child molestations that he failed to investigate in El Mirage.
His callous comment of “if there were any victims” shows his arrogance and the insincerity of his so-called apology. Arpaio knows full well there were many victims and he knows their identities. In 2008 the sheriff received a full written account of all the cases his office failed to investigate in El Mirage.
The Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office had provided police services in El Mirage for three year. In mid-2007, the new leadership of the El Mirage Police Department took over.
A sheriff’s deputy chief called then El Mirage Police Chief Mike Frazier and told him to get the evidence from the El Mirage cases out of their property impound. The deputy chief also told Frazier he was returning all the police reports (several boxes) from the time period when the Sheriff’s Office had been responsible for providing police services in El Mirage. That deputy chief told the El Mirage police administration that all the reports were “complete” and could just be “filed away.” A few weeks later the boxes of police reports were returned to El Mirage.
At that time, I was the newly hired assistant police chief. For quality control purposes I directed the El Mirage detectives to conduct a random sampling of the serious criminal cases (sex crimes and child molestations) that had been returned from Arpaio’s office. (We were already in the process of reviewing several death investigations Arpaio’s staff had mishandled.)
The cursory review showed that none of the sex crime and molesting cases had been completed. Most had not had any follow up done after the first-responder’s contact.
I ordered a full review of the returned cases. To my dismay our full audit showed that none of the cases had been completed.
We knew the task of re-investigating three years of neglected criminal cases would tax our limited El Mirage police resources. At our request, the El Mirage city manager approved special funding and we temporarily hired some retired Phoenix detectives to re-investigate the neglected cases.
After months of extra work, the El Mirage Police Department staff finally completed the re-investigation of the neglected cases. A comprehensive report was completed including an overview and summary of each case. The report included information about every victim.
This report and a cover letter were sent to Sheriff Joe Arpaio. Although this was the professional and ethical manner to handle this situation, Arpaio had the audacity to criticize the El Mirage police department for preparing this report. He chastised us for “creating a public record” of his negligence. (This is the same Joe Arpaio who publicly questioned whether there really were any victims.)
Many months after we finished re-investigating the cases an Arizona Republic reporter uncovered this negligence by Arpaio and requested a public records request for the El Mirage Police report and the letter to the sheriff. When Arpaio’s negligence on these cases was made public in a subsequent news report, Arpaio announced he was launching an “internal investigation” into the matter.
That was nearly three years ago and Arpaio apparently still has not concluded his internal investigation.
There is also this decision in Graves v. Arpaio, handed down by the federal court in 2008. Here’s how the ACLU describes the case.
The ACLU went to trial against Arpaio in August 2008 arguing that deteriorating conditions within each of the jail’s five facilities that house pre-trial detainees – people who have been arrested but not yet tried or convicted – necessitate federal court oversight to ensure that Arpaio and other county officials maintain safe and humane conditions and provide the thousands of detainees held there basic levels of medical and mental health care.www.aclu.org/prisoners-rights/ninth-circuit-court-appeals-orders-sheriff-arpaio-fix-unconstitutional-conditions-m
(The Graves case piggy-backed onto oversight proceedings begun in 1977 with a class action alleging that the civil rights of pretrial detainees held in the Maricopa County jail system had been violated. In a decision several years in the making; the parties entered into a consent agreement with respect to pre-trial detainees, to fix condition in the jail. However, in 1998, Defendant Sheriff Joe filed suit to set aside that agreement as invalid, as a matter of law, under the 1997 federal Prison Litigation Reform Act (“PRLA”), which prohibits court oversight of ‘prisons’ absent specific findings of fact as to the conditions which violate Plaintiffs’ Constitutional and civil rights. Defendants lost that case; and appealed. This took several years. At some point, parties agreed that, the Petition to Vacate the Consent Degree would be withdrawn, without prejudice. Instead, they would engage in Discovery and then submit their proposed findings of fact to the court. If ongoing violations could be established then, these would become part of a new ‘legal’ ruling; and any conditions which were part of the earlier consent agreement but which now would not constitute violations under the new standard, would be dismissed.)
I accessed the actual decision in Graves from the web site of the National Institute of Correction:
We are an agency within the U.S. Department of Justice, Federal Bureau of Prisons. The Institute is headed by a Director appointed by the U.S. Attorney General. A 16-member Advisory Board, also appointed by the Attorney General, was established by the enabling legislation (Public Law 93-415) to provide policy direction to the Institute.
Here’s how the NIC describes the 2008 case:
ANNOTATION: These Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law and Order address the termination of prospective relief for violating the civil rights of pretrial detainees in Maricopa County jails; termination based on the Prison Litigation Reform Act (PLRA). Termination is granted for some provisions while other provisions remain in effect. Prospective relief is needed for: overcrowding; temperature indoors; housekeeping; health care screening and access; prescriptions; intake areas; recreation time outside; adequate food; visual observation; incident reporting; and reporting requirements.
Graves begins with this explanation.
Termination of Prospective Relief Under the PLRA
Congress enacted the PLRA to prevent federal courts from micromanaging prisons by mere consent decrees and to return control of the prison system from courts to “the elected officials accountable to the taxpayer.” Gilmore v. California, 220 F.3d 987, 996 (9th Cir. 2000). “[N]o longer may courts grant or approve relief that binds prison administrators to do more than the constitutional minimum.” Id. at 999. The PLRA requires that prospective relief regarding prison conditions “extend no further than necessary to correct the violation of the Federal right of a particular plaintiff or plaintiffs.” 18 U.S.C. §3626(a)(1). Relief must be narrowly drawn, extend no further than necessary to correct the violation, and be the least intrusive means necessary to correct the violation. Id. Further, courts must “give substantial weight to any adverse
impact on public safety or the operation of a criminal justice system caused by the relief.” Id.
Given these legal qualifiers; the court specifically found several conditions evidencing that Sheriff Arpaio was doing less than the Constitutional minimum to correct violations to Plaintiffs’ rights under both the 8th and 14th Amendments.
The Eighth Amendment requires that prisoners be confined in conditions that protect their mental and physical health and draws its meaning from evolving standards of decency that mark the progress of a maturing society. The Eighth Amendment requires that the temperature of the areas in which pretrial detainees are held or housed does not threaten their health or safety. The Eighth Amendment requires that prisoners be provided basic elements of hygiene, sanitation, and safety, including freedom from unreasonable threat of injury from fire and from vermin and rodent infestation. The Eighth Amendment requires that the Maricopa County Jails provide a system of ready access to adequate medical, dental, and mental health care; medical staff competent to examine prisoners and diagnose illnesses; timely treatment for prisoners’ medical problems or referral to others who can; and an adequate system for responding to emergencies. The Eighth Amendment requires that the Maricopa County Jails not be deliberately indifferent to prisoners’ serious medical, dental, and mental health needs, including conditions that are likely to cause serious illness and needless suffering in the
future. The Eighth Amendment requires that pretrial detainees be provided food that is adequate to maintain the pretrial detainees’ health and that is prepared under conditions that do not threaten their health and well being.
The Fourteenth Amendment requires that conditions of confinement for pretrial detainees not constitute punishment, i.e., not impose some harm that significantly exceeds the inherent discomforts of confinement and is excessive in relation to the legitimate governmental objective. The Fourteenth Amendment requires that the temperature of the areas in which pretrial detainees are held or housed must not constitute punishment. The Fourteenth Amendment requires that pretrial detainees be held and housed in conditions that do not constitute punishment, i.e., confinement conditions may be unpleasant, but not excessively unpleasant in light of the legitimate governmental objectives those conditions serve. The Fourteenth Amendment requires that Maricopa County Jails provide pretrial detainees with access to care to meet their serious medical, dental, and mental health needs, which means that in a timely manner, a pretrial detainee can be seen by a clinician, receive a professional clinical judgment, and receive care that is ordered. The Fourteenth Amendment requires that the Maricopa County Jails not withhold or delay medical, dental, or mental health care unless doing so is reasonably related to a legitimate governmental objective. Budgetary constraints do not justify delay in treatment for a serious medical need. The Fourteenth Amendment requires that the taste and appearance of food provided to pretrial detainees not constitute punishment, i.e., not be more distasteful than is inherent in institutionalized confinement.
Here are just some of those findings. (This was an 83-page decision, which I read in its entirety. I spent hours editing the excerpts below, limited to those conditions which require prospective remediation. But I wanted you to see the conditions imposed in some cases, for years, by Sheriff Arpaio on pretrial detainees, meaning, people arrested and awaiting trial, or, in other words, INNOCENT UNDER THE LAW.)
Pretrial detainees who have court appearances while housed in Maricopa County Jails are transported from a housing unit to the court holding cells located in the old Madison jail facility where they may remain for as long as eight hours in crowded, dirty conditions. Although overcrowding itself does not violate pretrial detainees’ constitutional rights, if it is not reasonably related to legitimate governmental objectives and it causes risk of harm to pretrial detainees’ safety and health, it does violate pretrial detainees’ constitutional rights.
At times, the court holding cells are so overcrowded that pretrial detainees do not have room to sit or adequate access to toilet and sink facilities.
Overcrowding in the court holding cells causes sanitation problems and health risks to pretrial detainees.
Although there is no posted maximum occupancy in the intake holding cells, the maximum number of inmates that should be held in each cell is approximately thirty to thirty-five. Often, substantially more than thirty-five pretrial detainees are held in one cell. At times, intake holding cells are so overcrowded that there is not room for all inmates to sit on benches, and at times there is not room for all inmates to sit anywhere, even on the floor. At times, inmates sleep on the concrete floor, and sometimes there is not enough room for inmates to sleep on the floor without coming into physical contact with other inmates. At times, the intake holding cells are too crowded for inmates to move to use the toilet and sink.
Ambient temperatures in some of the Towers cells and peripheral areas have exceeded 85° F. Air temperatures in excess of 85° F. greatly increase the risk of heat stroke and other heat-related illnesses for pretrial detainees who are taking psychotropic medications. Defendant Arpaio does not have a list of all pretrial detainees taking psychotropic medications and cannot readily determine where pretrial detainees taking psychotropic medications are housed. Detention officers generally do not know which pretrial detainees are taking psychotropic medications. 90. Defendant Arpaio does not ensure that pretrial detainees taking psychotropic medications are housed at temperatures that provide healthful living conditions.
Cells are not consistently cleaned and sanitized prior to occupancy by pretrial detainees thereby causing an unconstitutional health risk.
The Maricopa County Jails booked more than 93,000 pretrial detainees from June 1, 2007, through May 31, 2008. It houses approximately 8,000 pretrial detainees daily. Some pretrial detainees remain in the Maricopa County Jails for days, and others for years. Many of the pretrial detainees in the Maricopa County Jails have alcohol and drug addictions, physical injuries, and chronic diseases, such as diabetes, asthma, hypertension, seizure disorders, and Parkinson’s disease. Many pretrial detainees have physical conditions, including dental care needs, caused or exacerbated by their living conditions before incarceration, such as illegal drug use, homelessness, inadequate health care, and inadequate nutrition. It is estimated that twenty percent of the pretrial detainees housed in the Maricopa County Jails are seriously mentally ill. Many of these have schizophrenia, bipolar disease, anxiety disorders, attention deficit disorder, and other serious chronic mental illnesses.
All pretrial detainees entering the jail system, with the exception of self surrenders, are processed through the 4th Avenue jail. All incoming detainees receive a screening when they arrive and prior to booking. It takes eight minutes on average to complete this process. The intake technicians often ask pretrial detainees the screening questions very quickly in a noisy environment that lacks privacy and is not conducive to pretrial detainees giving thoughtful responses to very personal questions. Although the 4th Avenue jail has clinical facilities to allow pretrial detainees following their initial pre-intake screening to proceed to a post-intake area and have a more comprehensive evaluation done by a clinician, a secondary screening at booking often does not occur. The number of pretrial detainees who receive the more comprehensive screening is significantly less than the number of pretrial detainees with serious medical needs who are booked.
During the intake screening, health personnel are instructed to check for a history of substance abuse or intoxication, diabetic care, seizure medications, and wound care. However, the intake screening often does not capture basic and necessary information from detainees, including an adequate history from those suffering from chronic diseases.Screening also is intended to identify persons with mental illnesses, who are to be scheduled for appropriate follow-up consistent with their level of need. Mental health screening questions include mental health treatment history, prescription medications, outpatient treatment provider, history of suicide attempts and self-injury, and current thoughts of suicide, in addition to subjective observations of the pretrial detainee’s appearance and behavior noted. However, many pretrial detainees with serious mental illness are not identified and assessed by a mental health clinician during the intake process. However, incoming pretrial detainees with chronic medical problems, such as diabetes, hypertension, and HIV disease, often do not receive their medications in a timely manner. Many people do not know the name or address of their pharmacy, or they might not have a pharmacy because they were prescribed medication in prison.
Systemic deficiencies in the screening process significantly impair continuity of care and result in failure to identify pretrial detainees with immediate medical needs.
Sometimes pretrial detainees receive medical care because their family members, attorneys, or clergy have requested it. Pretrial detainees seeking medical care must complete sick call request forms and hand them to nursing staff, usually the Licensed Practical Nurse administering medications in the morning. Sick call requests are to be triaged by nurses within twenty-four hours, seven days a week, without actually seeing the pretrial detainees who have submitted the sick call requests. Although the nurses administering medications are expected to talk to pretrial detainees submitting sick call requests and to record additional information for triaging and treatment, they do not consistently do so well. Some pretrial detainees are not literate at all. They have difficulty communicating about their health care needs in writing on the sick call request forms. Pretrial detainees frequently are denied access to adequate medical, mental health, and dental care because they do not receive a timely in-person assessment of the urgency of their need for treatment.
Clinicians at the Maricopa County Jails often cannot provide a professional medical judgment because Correctional Health Services does not have a medical record and information system capable of timely providing health care professionals with the information they need to diagnose and treat pretrial detainees appropriately, including laboratory results and results of specialty consults. Correctional Health Services does not maintain a list of pretrial detainees with chronic diseases and cannot readily determine where they are housed and what medications have been prescribed for them. Correctional Health Services does not maintain a list of pretrial detainees on prescription medications. Detention officers often do not know which pretrial detainees in their custody are on medications that may have adverse side effects. Detention officers often do not know which pretrial detainees in their custody are taking psychotropic medications and may suffer heat-related illnesses if subjected to temperatures exceeding 85° F. Correctional Health Services does not maintain a list of pretrial detainees identified as seriously mentally ill and cannot readily determine where they are housed and what medications have been prescribed for them.
Detention officers often do not know which pretrial detainees in their custody have been identified as seriously mentally ill. There is no jail policy requiring that mental health staff be notified or involved in the disciplinary process of mentally ill detainees, and mental health clinical staff are not consulted about disciplinary actions against mentally ill detainees. Some pretrial detainees have been punished for behavior related to serious mental illness. The vast majority of seriously mentally ill pretrial detainees are not housed in the Lower Buckeye psychiatric unit, and seriously mentally ill pretrial
detainees may be placed in segregation at other housing facilities without detention staff’s knowledge that the pretrial detainees are seriously mentally ill. Lockdown for twenty-three hours per day, alone or with cellmates, can be seriously detrimental to the condition of a seriously mentally ill pretrial detainee. Although seriously mentally ill pretrial detainees require more supervision when placed in segregation, they usually receive less.
Thorazine is an antipsychotic medication with potentially severe and permanent side effects, including extremely painful involuntary muscle spasms of the neck, tongue, eyes or other muscles, a profound restlessness and constant movement of the feet and legs, drug-induced Parkinsonism (a resting tremor with some muscle rigidity), and tardive diskenesia (potentially permanent and disfiguring involuntary movements around the face). Although Correctional Health Services witnesses testified they would not prescribe thorazine as a first line of treatment, in fact, Correctional Health Services has
prescribed thorazine for many psychotic, and even some not psychotic, pretrial detainees without justification for its use. Correctional Health Services psychiatrists sometimes prescribe thorazine as a sleep aid. Some of the seriously mentally ill pretrial detainees are housed in the psychiatric unit at the Lower Buckeye jail, and the most seriously mentally ill of those are housed in cells that do not permit psychiatrists and pretrial detainees to have visual contact while communicating or to have private therapeutic communications. Mental health staff frequently provide cell-side treatment without privacy in other housing units as well. In some cases, this detriment to therapeutic treatment is necessary to preserve the safety and security of staff and pretrial detainees; in some cases, it is not.
Many of the pretrial detainees housed at the Lower Buckeye jail psychiatric unit need hospital level psychiatric care. Many of the pretrial detainees housed at the Lower Buckeye jail psychiatric unit are maintained in segregation lockdown with little or no meaningful therapeutic treatment, which results in needless suffering and deterioration. Although mental health staff are on site twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, psychiatrists are not. Therefore, acutely psychotic pretrial detainees, pretrial detainees on suicide watch, and pretrial detainees in restraints or on forced medications, are being treated after hours and on weekends without the personal supervision of a psychiatrist.
Providing pretrial detainees’ prescription medications without interruption is essential to constitutionally adequate medical care. Lapses in medication for certain medical conditions, e.g., HIV, seizure disorders, diabetes, organ transplants, can be life threatening even if the lapse is only a few days. In addition to inconsistencies in obtaining necessary prescription
information during the intake process, Correctional Health Services does not consistently ensure that all pretrial detainees actually receive all prescribed medications as ordered. Prescription orders are recorded in pretrial detainees’ individual paper records, but Correctional Health Services is not able to generate a list of pretrial detainees in each housing facility to whom prescription medications are to be administered. Licensed Practical Nurses administer medications to pretrial detainees on “pill passes” through the jail housing facilities twice a day. During the pill pass, the pill nurse has the individual medical records of pretrial detainees who are to receive medication at a facility, which may number in the hundreds, and he or she records those who come forward when pill pass is called and receive medication. During the pill pass, the pill nurse also receives sick call requests from pretrial detainees and is expected to determine the urgency of any of the sick call requests.
The pill nurse does not have a list of which pretrial detainees are supposed to come for medication. The pill nurse does not know whether a pretrial detainee who is supposed to receive medication is at court, recreation, church, or sleeping. It may take the pill nurse several days to determine that a pretrial detainee has missed or continues to miss his or her prescribed medications. If a pretrial detainee does not come to pill pass to receive medication, when it is noticed, the pill nurse may enter into the pretrial detainee’s medical record that he or she refused medication, even if the pill nurse does not know in fact why the pretrial detainee did not come to the pill pass. Some “evening” pill passes have been conducted as early as 3:00 p.m. even though some of the prescribed medications are to be taken at bedtime and are known to cause drowsiness.
Most pretrial detainees are taken to the 4th Avenue Intake area upon arrest. During the pre-booking stage, pretrial detainees undergo a very short medical screening, are searched, and have their photographs taken. At this point, pretrial detainees are accepted into intake at the 4th Avenue jail and placed in an “identification” holding cell where they are held until they are interviewed by pretrial services. After the pretrial service interview, pretrial detainees typically are placed in “court” holding cells to await their initial court appearance. The booking process from pre-booking through the initial court appearance typically takes two to four hours. After pretrial detainees go to their initial court appearance, they are placed in a “classification” holding cell. Each intake identification and classification holding cell consists of a concrete floor, two concrete benches, one uncovered toilet, and one sink. The classification process typically takes two to six hours. After classification, pretrial detainees typically receive jail clothing within two to four hours. After receiving jail clothing, pretrial detainees are placed in holding cells to wait to be transported to their assigned jail housing units. It typically takes two to three hours to be transported to a housing unit. The jail intake process should take no more than twenty-four hours.
Defendant Arpaio’s records regarding a pretrial detainee’s length of stay in intake document when a pretrial detainee begins the intake process and when he or she is assigned to a housing unit, but they may not indicate how long a pretrial detainee waited in a holding cell to be transported to a housing unit. The records also may not indicate how long a pretrial detainee was physically located at the 4th Avenue Intake if he or she was taken to a hospital or to the United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement. From June 1, 2007, through May 31, 2008, 93,065 pretrial detainees were booked into the 4th Avenue Intake. Of these, 21,987 (24%) were in intake more than twenty-four hours, 1,910 were in intake more than forty-eight hours, and 358 inmates were in intake more than seventy-two hours. 293. Regardless of the length of time a pretrial detainee remains in the intake process, Defendant Arpaio does not provide the pretrial detainee with a bed and blanket unless the pretrial detainee is placed in an isolation cell.
As previously found, intake holding cells often are overcrowded, without room for all inmates to sit, sleep, or move to use the toilet and sink. At times, the intake holding cells are extremely dirty, and the sinks and toilets unsanitary and inoperable. At times, the intake holding cells do not have toilet paper, and pretrial detainees are not provided with toilet paper when they request it. At times, the intake holding cells do not have soap for pretrial detainees to wash their hands after using the toilet. During intake, inmates usually have no access to a shower until they receive their jail uniforms.Some inmates have not been permitted to take a shower in intake before putting on their jail uniforms. When inmates are brought into intake, usually little is known about their mental and physical conditions, sexual orientation, and security threat levels. During intake, repeat offenders charged with serious violent crimes may be placed in holding cells with individuals charged with DUI or criminal speeding. There are no panic buttons or intercom systems in the intake holding cells. Pretrial detainees placed in intake holding cells usually can communicate with a detention officer only when the door is opened to move pretrial detainees in or out of a holding cell. Although security cameras record activity within intake holding cells, detention officers do not continuously watch the security cameras. Security staff provide only minimal visual and audio supervision of the intake holding cells. Detention officers do not conduct routine security walks on a regular basis in the intake areas. Detention officers do not continuously monitor the intake holding cells.
The intake incident reports do not include every incident that occurs in the intake holding cells, even some that require pretrial detainees to receive medical treatment. Defendant Arpaio does not consistently take reasonable measures to guarantee the safety of the pretrial detainees during the intake process.
Maricopa County Jails employ one dietician, who is responsible for ensuring that basic nutritional needs of pretrial detainees are met according to the National Research Council’s recommended dietary allowances. In 2003, the Maricopa County Jails dietician wrote that, in his professional opinion, the activity level of Maricopa County Jail inmates fell between sedentary and lightly active, which indicated that they would require an average of 2400 to 2500 calories daily. Maricopa County Jails wrongfully deny opportunity for most pretrial detainees to have a minimum of four hours outdoor exercise per week, which exercise would take pretrial detainees above a sedentary lifestyle. The United States Dietary Guidelines recommend that males ages 19-30 with a sedentary activity level have 2400 calories daily and that males ages 19-30 with a moderately active lifestyle should have 2600-2800 calories daily. The Maricopa County Jails dietician currently plans menus that he estimates would provide approximately 2400 to 2500 calories daily. Maricopa County Jails do not comply with its policies requiring inmates to be served 2900 calories daily.
Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office Policy DG-1 requires that a written nutritional analysis be prepared annually by a qualified nutritionist/dietician to compare the nutritional values of meals served against national standards. The Maricopa County Jails dietician prepared the annual analysis for the February 2007 menu, but to do so, he substituted specific fruits and vegetables for the items identified only as “fruit” and “vegetable” without knowing what foods actually were served to any pretrial detainees. When the Maricopa County Jails dietician prepared the annual analysis for the June 2008 menu, he learned that Maricopa County Jails kept a sample of meals served for the previous thirty days for quality assurance purposes, and he used those samples to determine what foods had been served to at least some of the pretrial detainees.
Maricopa County Jails provide pretrial detainees two meals each day: a sack meal in the morning and a warm meal in the late afternoon or early evening. Pretrial detainees may purchase additional food from the Canteen, which earned a net profit of $5,144,507.99 in fiscal year 2007.
The morning meal is served to each pretrial detainee in a transparent plastic bag referred to throughout the record as a “Ladmo bag.” The menu for each Ladmo bag in May 2008 and June 2008 is:
2 hoagie rolls (3-oz. each)
5 oz. meat or 4 oz. peanut butter
1 snack item
2 condiment packets or 2 jelly
2 pieces fresh fruit
385. The menu for each dinner meal in May 2008 and June 2008 includes:
1 dinner roll (2 oz.)
It is impossible to determine from the menus the nutritional or caloric value of items identified only as “meat,” “fresh fruit,” “vegetables,” “dessert,” or “snack item.” The Maricopa County Jails dietician’s opinion is that there is no nutritional difference among different fruits, vegetables, meats, and starches, and it is unnecessary to distinguish a cup of lettuce from a cup of green beans, a banana from an apple, or a hot dog from turkey. The Maricopa County Jails dietician’s opinion is that French fries, diced potatoes, rice, and macaroni are of equal nutritional value. The Maricopa County Jails dietician’s opinion is that one ounce of beef has the same nutritional value as one ounce of turkey. The Maricopa County Jails dietician’s opinions regarding nutritional equivalents are not credible, and the Court does not believe them.
Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office Policy DG-1 requires that menus of meals actually served be retained for five years to verify the provisions of a nutritionally adequate diet. During the relevant time period, Defendant Arpaio did not keep menus of meals actually served. Pretrial detainees often receive food that is different than that stated on the Maricopa County Jails monthly menus, and not all inmates ordered to receive the same diet actually receive the same food at the same meal. Although Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office Policy DG-1 requires that any substitutions in the planned menu be of equal nutritional value and properly documented, not all substitutions are documented, and none of the menu substitutions from April through May 2008 were approved by the Maricopa County Jails dietician. The snack item included in a Ladmo bag usually is pre-packaged cookies, a snack cake, a Twinkie, cheese and crackers, or a candy bar.
A Ladmo bag may include an artificially flavored drink instead of milk. The fruit provided in the Ladmo Bags often is overripe or bruised and frequently inedible. The bread provided in the Ladmo Bags frequently is moldy and entirely or in part inedible. In 2003, the Maricopa County Jails dietician wrote that Maricopa County Jails receive “a tremendous amount of donated food, which arrives on a daily basis,” and the “calorie content of the menu will change on a daily basis, depending on the types of meats and deserts [sic] and fruit donated.” Maricopa County Jails currently receive a large volume of donated food, which is fed to inmates. Maricopa County Jails staff do not know who donated the food, the circumstances under which it was donated, or the age of the food. Extra meals are prepared and transported to jail facilities to replace meals containing moldy or spoiled food items. Inmates must request a replacement meal before leaving the serving line, but often are not allowed time to inspect their meals before leaving the serving line. If inmates are not permitted to obtain edible food to replace inedible portions of their meals, they have not been provided with all of the food included in the Maricopa County Jails dietician’s nutritional analysis.
Defendant Arpaio cannot establish what edible food inmates actually received during much of the relevant period. Defendant Arpaio cannot establish that pretrial detainees are served adequate nutrition. The Maricopa County Jails dietician’s opinion that pretrial detainees are served adequate nutrition is not supported by the evidence, is contrary to evidence, and is unworthy of belief. The Court does not believe it.
Food served to pretrial detainees is prepared either at the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office Food Factory or at the smaller Estrella jail kitchen. The warm evening meals often contain a meat and sauce or gravy product referred to as “cook/chill” because it is cooked in 300-gallon tanks, pumped into two gallon bags, and chilled, to be reheated before serving. The evening meals usually contain a starch, such as potatoes, rice, or beans, which have been found to include small rocks.
Thus, the ACLU proved that the sheriff routinely abused pre-trial detainees at Maricopa County Jail by feeding them moldy bread, rotten fruit and other contaminated food, housing them in cells so hot as to endanger their health, denying them care for serious medical and mental health needs and keeping them packed as tightly as sardines in holding cells for days at a time during intake. Id.
“Today’s ruling is further confirmation that even a man who likes to brag about being the toughest sheriff in the nation has to follow the U.S. Constitution,” said Margaret Winter, Associate Director of the ACLU National Prison Project and lead counsel for the detainees. “Sheriff Arpaio’s unconscionable treatment of the thousands of pre-trial detainees in his custody has gone on far too long.” Id.
Still, notwithstanding this horrific trail of brutal dehumanization deemed unConstitutional by the courts; Sheriff Arpaio is proud to ‘stand’ on his record of flaunting the Constitution. And, evidently, millions of people endorse unConstitutional conduct as carried out by him. On the other hand, these same people eagerly await word on Thursday from this ‘piece of work,’ that he has found the Rosetta Stone which will once and for all remove from office the “Usurper” they are convinced only got there by violating the Constitutional eligibility requirements for the job.
Of course, he won’t. Too much money at stake for these hucksters by engaging in the truth. So, what is this release of details which, in words couched by Mr. Arpaio (but emphasized by jbjd), “could be a shock”? Simply this. Under the U.S. Code; the (facsimile of an) image entitled “Birth Certificate” and bearing the name Barack Obama which was released by the WH on April 2011 is part of a real political ad campaign, the content of which, whether true, is protected under the 1st Amendment to the Constitution. See, for example, DE-CODER RINGS (1 of 2) and DE-CODER RINGS (2 of 2); and be sure to read the Comments.
(However, beginning in earnest the 2012 Presidential campaign by launching that ad from the WH could be said to be a violation of campaign finance laws.)