Best Mugshot of the Day (2011)

Jeffery Hendershott

Quite literally, the food is garbage at Sheriff Joe Arpaio's jail. And humiliation is always on the menu. It starts as soon as an criminal suspect arrives, when the obligatory photograph taken during the booking process is posted on the Internet and entered into a taxpayer-funded game called Mugshot of the Day. Like a modern-day version of a stockade, the sheriff's web game aims to shame the prisoners. Typically, thanks to the callousness of an anonymous cyber-population, the "winner" is all too obviously mentally ill. Ha ha, look at the funny face! The one good thing that could be said about the ethics of this public contest is that all arrestees appear to be fair game. When one of the sons of David Hendershott (the chief deputy Arpaio had to fire this year for numerous policy violations and potential crimes) was arrested in July on suspicion of DUI and hit-and-run (no injuries, but still!), his picture appeared on Arpaio's game board — and shot to the top of the Mugshot of the Day rankings. Mysteriously, typing Hendershott's name into a search field didn't bring up his photo. At first, computer users had to find it by scrolling through the "DUI" category of the mugshot look-up site. A post on New Times' Valley Fever blog probably helped things along. Soon, he was listed in a separate web page of top contenders. After a day of online voting, Jeffery Hendershott, then 29, took the honors with more than 100 votes, narrowly beating out a woman arrested for alleged probation violation who inexplicably drew nearly as many votes. Hendershott's dad can rest more easily — his alleged crimes are being investigated by the federal government, which so far doesn't have its own National Mugshot of the Day award.


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