The following is a press release from Sheriff Joe Arpaio:

  • “Prisoners will wear uniforms adorned with American flags.”
  • “To include prisoners with national origins other than the United States.”
  • “Incarcerated veteran inmates and newly sworn American citizen detention officer from Iraq to hand out uniforms.”

    (Maricopa County, AZ)
    The black and white striped uniforms worn by over 8,000 inmates in the Maricopa County jails operated by Sheriff Joe Arpaio will have a new look starting on Independence Day, July 4th : an American flag will be affixed on uniforms.

    Sheriff Arpaio ordered the new look out of respect to our nation’s heritage and with the aspiration of adding to the respect each wearer will hold for themselves. At high noon on July 4th, U.S. military veteran inmates will the join the Sheriff in Tent City Jail in honoring America.

    The incarcerated veterans will hand out the new flag-emblazoned uniforms to the inmates, many of which have national origins from around the world. Also joining Sheriff Arpaio and the veterans in handing out the new inmate uniforms will be newly sworn American citizen, Detention Officer Omar Al Mawashi, who passed his United States Citizenship test on May 26th.

    On July 4th at 7:30 a.m., Officer Omar Al Mawashi will attend his Naturalization Oath Ceremony in Federal Court before heading over to Tent City Jail. Al Mawashi has lived in Phoenix for 5 years, 6 months, having come to the country from Baghdad, Iraq. He was hired by the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office on November 13, 2012.

    Patriotism for America and respect for veterans is a hallmark of Sheriff Arpaio. Here are some of the results of Sheriff Arpaio’s policies in this regard:
     The Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office employs over 600 men and women who are veterans.
     The Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office has hired 120 veterans in the last 2 ½ years.
     44,000 inmates have signed up for Selective Service since 2004.
     Incarcerated veterans have been placed in their own jail pod so that they could get the help associated with their unique needs, including treatment for PTSD.
     Each day inmates hear “The Star Spangled Banner” and “God Bless America” on the public address system.
     American flags adorn each jail cell.

    Sheriff Arpaio also ran the Newt Gingrich 10-part video lecture series, “Renewing American Civilization,” in 1995 for all inmates to watch on television monitors throughout the jail system. The series focused on American history and its core pillars.

    Sheriff Arpaio is a U.S Army veteran, having joined the service when the Korean War broke out, and has always had an appreciation of patriotism and pride connected to Old Glory. “The American flag is a symbol of freedom and liberty,” says Sheriff Arpaio who continues, “My hope is that incarcerated inmates feel a sense of pride and honor when wearing the flag.” The next uniform change will have to do with the chain gang and will incorporate a large American Flag as part of the uniform. This adaptation will be debuted by the female chain gang in the near future.

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