The Significance Joe Arpaio in The Tent City

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About this sample

About this sample


Words: 879 |

Pages: 2|

5 min read

Published: Nov 22, 2018

Words: 879|Pages: 2|5 min read

Published: Nov 22, 2018

Tent city jail underlined Joe Arpaio’s service as the Sheriff of Maricopa County. The tent city jail were developed to ease the increasing inmate population as well as punitive measure for many criminals within the Maricopa County. The jail had the capacity of 2,100 although the maximum number of inmates were 1,700. The Tent City jail was not air-conditioned and he forced inmates to wear pink underwear’s at the facility. Sheriff Joes policies especially when dealing with crime have been significantly been argued based on ethical understanding as well as human rights front. The critics of Joe Arpaio had significantly questioned his policies are lacking the string emphasis on human rights and ethics. This paper provides an assessment of Joe Arpaio’s policies based on deontology, utilitarian and Kantian ethics.

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The key policy that Joe implemented during his time as the Sheriff of Maricopa were the infamous Tent jails. Within these tents, inmates were required to wear pink underwear beneath their jumpsuits, pornographic magazine were banned from the jail and cooking shows were aired in cafeteria. The inmates had two meatless meals a day. The Tent Jails were not air conditioned despite the fact that the temperatures soared above 120 degrees at times. The Chain gangs were also implemented where women were put in chain gangs. It has been claimed that women of color were highly targeted in this case and mistreated. Latina detainees were not served with sanitary towels (Mak, 2014).

Deontology ethics focuses on consideration on an action as being write of wrong based on the underlying moral code and thus effects of the action are not considered. The actions and policies implemented by Joe Arpaio during his time as Maricopa sheriff especially the issues revolving Tent city jails are morally wrong. Joe referred to the Tent City jail as a concentration camp and thus it is very difficult to have anything productive or morally right in view of concentration camps (Chonko, 2016). The actions of the sheriff can therefore under the deontological ethical theory be considered unethical. The lives of inmates were made very difficult. Leaving under 120 degree without air conditioning is torture and an immoral move regardless of the outcome of the whole process. The fact that women of color were mistreated shows significantly the fact that the policies and actions of the Sheriff failed the ethical test. The implementation of these policies was not developed effectively basing on crucial understanding on human rights considering the fact that even inmates have rights(Barnett, 2012).

Utilitarianism ethics highlight the fact that an action is considered to be ethically good or wrong based on whether in represents the interest of the greatest (Frederiksen, 2015). Therefore as long the majority views an action as being good then it is considered as being ethically good based on the utilitarianism. The policies of Sheriff Joe Arpaio were largely unpopular among the citizens of the country based on the tactics and environment under which the inmates were living. Many of the people in Maricopa as well as across the United States did not agree with the inhumane treatment of inmates regardless of the outcome of the technique used. The fact that the current Sherriff Ponzone prioritized the closure of the Tent City jails and won the elections shows the fact that many people within the county did not agree with the policies of Joe Arbaio. Recently Arpaio received presidential pardon due to his role inanti-immigration where many immigrants ended up in the Tent City Jails. The charges that has been handed to him was as a sign of wrongdoing and neglect on human rights especiallytreatment of illegal immigrants (Lynch, 2015).

Kantian ethics provides a significant understanding on the underlying factor regarding the overall need to ensure that our actions fulfil our duty and not focus on the results of the whole process. This means that the ethical consideration of an action is being ethically wring or right depends on its ability to fulfil our duty. Categorical imperative aspect is developed on the crucial focus on the need to ensure that we act and to treat others in a way that you will be satisfied if the same treated is reciprocated (Chonko, 2016). Based on this ethical theory it is clear that the policies of Joe Arpaio were unethical since he would not have survived the treatment he was giving others in his Tent city jails regardless of their criminal status. Making decisions require crucial focus and understanding of its impact on others and whether it would be very fine when the same situation is done to an individual. The fact that Joe considered Tent city jails as concentration camps means that he did know that what he was doing was morally wrong but decided to go ahead with implementation of his policies (Herring, 2015).

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The jails are usually put in place targeting inmates and this consideration of public safety should not be put into focus. It is through effective focus on inmate rights where the public safety can be assured. Jails are aimed to serve as rehabilitation as well as a form of punishment for offenders. Inmates are still citizens even though some of their freedoms have been withdrawn they are still entitled to better treatment and thus the focus of jails should be on inmate rights.

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The Significance Joe Arpaio In The Tent City. (2018, November 05). GradesFixer. Retrieved December 10, 2023, from
“The Significance Joe Arpaio In The Tent City.” GradesFixer, 05 Nov. 2018,
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