On July 4, inmates in Maricopa County who normally wear stripes and pink underwear will be given new uniforms “adorned with American flags.”
The uniforms will be handed out by incarcerated veterans in Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s Tent City Jail at noon on the national holiday.
Assisting the veterans will be Detention Officer Omar Al Mawashi, a former Iraqi citizen who passed his U.S. Citizenship test on May 26 and will be sworn in as a citizen on July 4, just prior to coming to tent city to hand out the new uniforms.
Sheriff Arpaio told Breitbart News about the new uniforms and made clear he will be there with the veterans as they hand them out. He said, “I’ve decided to put the American flag on the uniforms and we’ll see how it’s received by the inmates.” He stressed the reaction of the inmates because the Maricopa County jail system has inmates from other countries. It is the third largest jail system in the U.S.
Patriotism and honor for veterans are staples with Sheriff Arpaio. In addition to the new uniforms, he will be “feeding veterans hotdogs and beans while other inmates continue to eat the diet food, which is vegetarian.”
Breitbart News previously reported that Sheriff Arpaio keeps an American flag in every cell. And he said, “If anybody tinkers or messes around with that flag, [they are placed] on bread and water.” He also houses all veterans together, as way of preserving the camaraderie that veterans enjoy.
Speaking to Breitbart News in June 2015, Sheriff Arpaio said:
About 10 months ago I decided to put all the veterans together who are serving time. We have about 8,500 inmates a day that we average, probably the third largest jail system in the country, and I decided to do something for the veterans.
We have 180 inmates that are veterans, so I placed the veterans into their own area. They painted all the branches of the services on the walls, red, white, and blue. And it is interesting to note that I haven’t had any problems, assaults or anything else, in that area. My theory is we’ve had some sergeants there and they kind of, in their own way, helped me because they can supervise the other inmates that were privates, etc.
In April 2016, Arpaio launched a new program of pairing incarcerated veterans with dogs from the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office’s MASH Unit. Many of these dogs are rescue animals and Sheriff Arpaio believes the time with veterans is good for the animals as well as the inmates.
He said, “We owe the veteran a special debt of gratitude, even after their issues with the law.”
AWR Hawkins is the Second Amendment columnist for Breitbart News and political analyst for Armed American Radio. Follow him on Twitter: @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.