Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Dear Sheriff, the Buck DOES stop here!

Joe Arpaio has said for years that "his jails" are "his business." He's said that he'll run them how he likes - without the interference of others, as he "answers to the people" - not the County Manager or Board of Supervisors. So what's his answer when faced with loosing accreditation for managing the jails into the ground? "I'm not trying to pass the buck but I have no management, no authority over the 'Correctional Health" in the jail.

No authority? Does Arpaio understand that 'Correctional Health' operates out of the Estrella and Lower Buckeye Jails? Does Arpaio know that A.R.S.36-402 clearly defines the role of Sheriff as being the responsible government office for 'Correctional Health?"

It seems to me that a few things are at issue:

1.) Correctional Health doesn't get a lot of press - it's one of those pesky requirements of being Sheriff that aren't glamorous, as such, Sheriff Arpaio doesn't really care.

2.) Arpaio spends most of his time in his Penthouse Office at the Wells Fargo building, book signings, and political events - so he's out of touch with jail management issues.

3.) Joe Arpaio doesn't care about human beings. Yes, that's a damming statement, but look at the record. Arpaio could step up and demand that people in his jails with diabetes get insulin on time; but he doesn't. Arpaio could demand that inmates with MRSA are separated from the general population; but he doesn't. Arpaio could demand this problem be fixed, but he doesn't - because he doesn't see inmates as human beings.

4.) Joe Arpaio is not a responsible person. When Rudy Giuliani was the Mayor of New York he placed a sign on his desk that everyone could see. The sign read two simple words; "I'm Responsible." That's leadership. That's taking charge and NOT Passing the buck. That's being a professional.

Arpaio needs to step up, take responsibility and fix this problem in HIS JAIL. Or, get out of the way and let a responsible professional (Dan Saban) do the job.


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