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Inmates Who Insult Sheriff's "Patriotism" Get Only Bread and Water

'We will take action against those who act this way,' says notorious Sheriff Joe Arpaio.

Andrea Germanos, staff writer

Sheriff Joe Arpaio speaking to supporters at the Arizona Republican Party's Fall Festival in Mesa, Arizona in 2012. (Photo: Gage Skimore/cc/flickr)

Self-proclaimed "toughest sheriff" in the nation Joe Arpaio of Arizona has said that 38 inmates will be fed only bread and water for a week for allegedly defacing American flags.

As part of an initiative the Maricopa County sheriff began in November, each jail cell has a sticker of an American flag, and inmates were threatened with the bread and water diet if the sticker was defaced in any way.

"These inmates have destroyed the American flag that was placed in their cells," CNN reports  Arpaio as saying. "Tearing them, writing on them, stepping on them, throwing them in the toilet, trash or wherever they feel. It's a disgrace ... this is government property that they are destroying, and we will take action against those who act this way."

In addition to the flags, Arpaio's nationalist push includes the daily playing of "God Bless America" and "The Star-Spangled Banner" over the jails' PA systems.

The sheriff announced in December that he would be segregating military veteran inmates to offer them special programs.


Arpaio is notorious for his for his treatment of inmates, including forcing inmates to wear pink underwear, using chain gangs, and his often sweltering "Tent City" jail which he referred to as a concentration camp.


In addition, a federal court found that Arpaio's office engaged in racial profiling.


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