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This Is How ‘America’s Toughest Sheriff’ Treats Mentally Ill Prisoners

Maricopa County, Arizona sheriff Joe Arpaio is, without question, one of the biggest douchebags to ever walk the face of the earth or carry a badge and gun. He has been known to make inmates wear pink prison-issued clothing, fed them moldy bread and expired sandwich meat, and houses some of his inmates in outdoor tent cities despite the fact that in the summer the temperature in Phoenix reaches well above 100 degrees.

But now there is evidence that Arpaio is horribly mistreating the mentally ill prisoners who are housed in Maricopa County.

One inmate, identified in a lawsuit filed against Arpaio only by the initials JP, and according to a report in Business Insider:

“Guards observed him ‘spitting and urinating’ on the floor of his cell, exhibiting ‘tearful’ behavior, and burping or drooling to drown out the voices he was hearing. He refused to eat or take the antipsychotic drugs he’d been prescribed. By the time he was finally taken to the facility’s Mental Health Unit (MHU) on March 11, he had lost 20 pounds and was ‘tangential, unaware of his situation, and reported auditory and visual hallucinations.’”

JP was allowed to stay in the MHU for one day, and was then returned to the Maricopa County jail. There, he continued to deteriorate mentally. He would not shower, eat, or take his medication. He was finally transferred to an RTC, a residential rehabilitation program, after a judge agreed with jail officials that he was too “incompetent and unrestorable” to face trial.

According to a lawsuit which has been filed by the ACLU, Arpaio, who has called himself “America’s toughest sheriff,” what is taking place in Maricopa County amounts to warehousing mentally ill detainees in “punitive housing units” at the jail. With no access to treatment these individuals:

“Deteriorate, refusing medication and treatment, living in squalor and growing more symptomatic by the day.”

Does this sound like the way anyone, let alone someone with a mental illness, should be treated? Joe Arpaio may be popular in Maricopa County, and he may be a hero to fellow bullies such as Donald Trump and Ted Nugent, but there is absolutely no excuse for treating a human being in this manner. Arpaio is the kind of person who would delight in kicking a man while he’s down. This kind of torture under the guise of “law and order” must end immediately.

Does this sound like the way anyone, let alone someone with a mental illness, should be treated? Joe Arpaio may be popular in Maricopa County, and he may be a hero to fellow bullies such as Donald Trump and Ted Nugent, but there is absolutely no excuse for treating a human being in this manner. Arpaio is the kind of person who would delight in kicking a man while he’s down. This kind of torture under the guise of “law and order” must end immediately.

This article was originally published by the same author at LiberalAmerica.org.

By Andrew Bradford

Proud progressive journalist and political adviser living behind enemy lines in Red America.

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