Recently it was announced by Governor Rick Perry that Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio would be hitting the campaign trail for Perry. This the same Ricky Perry who is running for President and of the “N HEAD” scandal. Well, now having the infamous Sheriff Joe involved makes some sense, right? Or it simply shows the extremely poor judgment Perry and his team have.
For those of you who do not know who Sheriff Joe is read on. Sheriff Joe Arpaio bills himself as the toughest Sheriff in the nation. But tough does not always mean productive, and in the case of Arpaio, there is loads of controversy. He is known for making his inmates wear Pink and Stripes along with having part of his Phoenix, Arizona jail being OUTSIDE in tents. Yes, he brags about the high temperatures, the rats and the tents. What he does not brag about are the two ongoing investigations into his administration including a $100 million dollars in allegedly misspent public funds. This according to the Arizona Republic. He also keeps quiet a recently settled case with the US Justice Department and the large settlements the city has had to pay out to inmates’ families who have been harmed or even died in his custody. Solid choice Ricky Perry?!
Next on the Sheriff hit parade is Los Angeles Sheriff Lee Baca. Baca also inserts himself in to media and politics whenever he can. Baca has been in office since 1998 and is often known as the Sheriff to the stars. This over the handling and press conferences of former inmates Mel Gibson, Paris Hilton and of course Lindsay Lohan. But, now Baca seems to be right where he belongs: under investigation. Baca and his officers are under investigation for the alleged abuse against inmates and the handling of the Mitrice Richardson case. After all of the scandals it may just be the Richardson case that brigs down Lee Baca. In my opinion this is a good thing as there should be no room in law enforcement for illegal activities. Funny I have to write that, but true. Just look at Baca and Arpaio.
But, just when we might think there is not good in law enforcement and the Sheriff’s of America, there is San Francisco Sheriff Mike Hennessey. Sheriff Hennessy has served in that capacity for 32 years and will be retiring this January. Yes, I have saved the best for last, and Mike Hennessey is the Best! California’s Department of Corrections is now known as the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation. I know of nobody who has done more for rehabilitation in law enforcement than Hennessey. During his years in San Francisco Sheriff Hennessey has helped to create major prisoner education and rehabilitation programs such as the Five Keys Charter School and the Resolve to Stop The Violence Project(RSVP). These programs have changed lives while most importantly lower the recidivism rates substantially.
So, there you have it. A tale of three very different “leaders” in law enforcement. Why should you care? The fact is that in our incarceration nation if we do not find a way to rehabilitate people, we will never lower crime. These three men have the power to effect change and yet two are leading the way on how to create it. Hey, Sheriff Joe and Sheriff Baca, do not forget about an old friend of yours named Sheriff Mike Corona who is serving time in FEDERAL PRISON. This too can be you. Stop the madness and make a change.