Inmate Move, Redux: Arpaio Covers Himself with Move of 900 Inmates This Afternoon

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In an attempt to recapture his status as an equal-opportunity sadist, Sheriff Joe Arpaio's reprising his 200 Mexican March, which inflamed the Hispanic community and civil rights activists back in February. However, this time, he's moving 900, and there's no indication in his press release that it'll be other than a mixed crowd. The latest example of Joe's barbarity begins at 4 p.m., and will involve "pre-sentenced inmates," according to the MCSO's press release, which is below.

Joe's February march blew up in his face, drawing outrage from across the nation. It also helped speed on the Department of Justice investigation and the House Judiciary Committee's hearing on the 287(g) program. The basis for the outrage in February was the forced march and segregation of the inmates -- most of whom were Hispanic, unsentenced and alleged to be illegal -- from the rest of the jail population. Even Arpaio's ally County Attorney Andrew Thomas had to back away from Joe on the forced march. Now it seems Joe's attempting to cover himself, so he can say, "See, I do this all the time."

Sure, he has done inmate moves in the past, and will likely do more in the future, but that doesn't take away from the sort-of forced segregation he did back in February. Nor does it lessen the unseemly, grotesque pageant he's putting on today.

100 West Washington, Suite 1900, Phoenix, Arizona 85003

Phone: (602) 876-1801 Fax: (602) 258-2081
Media Contact: SheriffsMediaRequests@MCSO.Maricopa.Gov
Date: April 17, 2009


(Phoenix, AZ) Several weeks after a controversial move of 220 inmates from one jail into their own Tent City, Sheriff Joe Arpaio says he plans another move. Today, hundreds more inmates will be moved into a new housing arrangement to avoid additional taxpayer money having to be spent on a new housing unit or costly jail renovation.

Friday afternoon beginning at 4PM, Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio will have the entire Durango jail complex on security override as 900 pre-sentenced inmates are moved in chains and walked between the Lower Buckeye Jail and Towers facility.While jails and prisons in Arizona and elsewhere are releasing prisoners early due to space or staff reductions, Arpaio's decision to move these inmates will actually open up 200 more beds for medium and maximum security inmates.

"For 16 years," Arpaio says. "I've had a vacancy sign shining over Tent City to tell everybody we will always find a way to make room for more law breakers. Even in hard times like these, I'm not about to allow the early release of inmates because we run out of bed space for bad guys."

The transfer of inmates will be overseen by Arpaio as it gets underway at 4PM on Friday, April 17, 2009. It will be secured by the presence of canine units, the Sheriff's SWAT and Special Response teams as well as deputies and armed posse. The move begins at the Lower Buckeye Jail sally-port located behind the front of the jail, on the northeast corner of the facility.

According to the Sheriff's jail records and jail history, the inmate population begins to swell during the summer months making space management of a growing population even more critical. END

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