I despise virtually all of the so-called “Reality” TV shows. But there is one show I’d love to see: “Sheriff Joe’s Prison Term In Tent City.”
For years, “America’s Toughest Sheriff” has, in reality, been America’s Most Corrupt Sheriff. He has ignored court orders and enforced laws as he sees fit. He has racially-profiled Latinos. He has failed to investigate hundreds of sexual assaults in Latino communities. He has ignored the dehumanizing and dangerous conditions at his Tent City. (You know, the tents in the desert where prisoners are warehoused without heat, air conditioning, toilets and running water.) He has profited from donations to his far right wing PAC. And he has cost the taxpayers of Maricopa County more than $145 million in legal costs and misspent funds.
Now, faced with a contempt of court hearing for willfully ignoring a judge’s orders, he has admitted to guilt in hopes that he will avoid the hearing and the potentially harsher penalties that could come with it.
Let’s hope the judge sees his plea for what it really is: An attempt to settle for a slap on the wrist and a stern warning. Let’s hope the judge sentences him to time in his own Tent City. And let’s hope the judge allows cameras in the prison so we can all watch his detention officers place the sheriff in a holding area with no shade from the sun as they have done to so many others; so we can watch him eat the same gruel he has forced on prisoners for years; so we can watch him stand in line for one of his own portable toilets; so we can watch him wrinkle his nose at the stench coming from the toilets and the dump next door.
Now that’s a “Reality” show I’d watch!