Monday, January 07, 2008

Would Jesus run a jail with this attidude? Let's talk about it in the comment section.


Anonymous said...

Hey,man, this sheriff has my admiration and support. I would vote for him in a second. I believe his philosophy for treatment of the criminals is right on target. If you break the law of God the penalty has to be paid. We can be thankful that a Just God is also Loving and provided a substitute, so that we don't have to suffer the extreme punishment of death. However, the Word of God teaches us that God does discipline his children. Breaking God's law as His child will get you disciplinary results.

irreverend fox said...

great thoughts "CW"...I'm going to let others weigh in first before I speak my mind about this approach.

Petrafreak said...

I think that this country would be much better off if we stopped caring how murderers, child molesters, and rapists are treated in prison. I am not for torturing or anything like that because even a murderer is created in the image of God. But I do believe that as a society we need to make people think twice before committing a sick crime. I have no problem with the way this prison tent is being run. The goal should not be to make a prisoner feel as comfy as possible while they are a guest of the state, the goal is to make them say to themselves in their own mind, "man this sucks, I never want to end up here again".Those are my two cents, anyone else?

irreverend fox said...

more good thoughts petrafreak...

you had me worried there for a minute by suggesting that we should stop caring "how" those incarcerated are treated...but you did a great job swinging back by balancing your statement out about their being image bearers of God.

I myself get worried when I hear conservatives (talk show hosts and bloggers) talk about people like molesters and terrorists and being 'animals' or less then human. The reason the things those people do is so disgusting to us is that THEY ARE HUMAN and we don't like to think "we" could do such a thing.

They are humans and are worthy of proper dignity, not because of anything within them, but because of the image they bare...

great thoughts.

David Bryan said...

Off topic: Someone named "Karen" left a very puzzling comment -- nothing more than "No." -- on my most recent blog post, and her name linked me to this blog, which I already knew about because of Alithos Anesti (surprise, surprise). Anybody "here" by that name? Any idea as to the meaning behind the "No"?

That having been said, I've read about this guy when my mom lived in AZ. I think he's right on, personally. The fact that somebody's able to man up and do this -- and the fact that so many others are *shocked* that he'd be so "mean" -- shows a lot about how our culture has been emasculated. These folks aren't dying, they're not being tortured; they're just uncomfortable. Makes me wonder how this guy's interviewers would view the desert fathers.

irreverend fox said...

hey David,

I have no clue who that would be or what "no" read the article and have not a clue as to what "Karen" is responding to...


irreverend fox said...

for all...

I think that Jesus would treat inmates this way, in His grace.

What I find interesting is how often times the inmates themselves have a level of respect for this sheriff. Why? Because maybe for the first time in many of these people's lives, someone isn't treating them as if they are fragile. Somebody is kicking their butt...somebody is expecting something out of them. Someone has a standard that they MUST meet. Nobody is letting them off the hook, nobody is giving in just to stop the whining or hassle and nobody is accommodating their fussiness. Nobody cares about their “issues” and nobody is making special circumstances just for them. Most criminals grew up in with a twisted blend of coddling and neglect at home…I’ve seen it on both sides of my family. For the first time in some of these guys lives some of them really feel...dignified. He comes off like a strict yet fair father who has high standards and no compromise. Or like the drill sergeant, football or wrestling coach who gets right in your face and calls you a little girl (he does this with the pink underwear). MEN GRAVITATE TO THAT. Men respect that…because by general revelation and common grace…these men know that the sheriff is right and they are wrong. “Little girls” are fragile, spoiled, weak, soft and ‘cry’ a lot. That’s they way criminals act in their personal lives (which then ultimately leads to crime for these guys) because that’s what they have always gotten away with. That all stops when they show up at Tent City.

That's kinda weird isn't it?

I think if more criminals were shown as much dignity as these guys are shown most jails would see a similar return rate. I know it must seem hot as hell in those tents…but I don’t think it’s the discomfort that somehow scares these guys away with a desire to never come back. That’s certainly part of it, but, I think in a weird way they get a taste of dignity and it does something to them. Of course…living in tents which seem as hot as hell makes a great impression upon them as well.

Once again…by the reaction of many in the world to this tangible example of God’s justice...I am reminded that we sing about being “amazed” at grace when in reality we expect grace and are amazed at justice.

Zac said...


I'm in St. Louis and don't have a lot of time but let me just say that the main issue I have is the one that the lawyer had on the show-- lots of people get arrested for no other reason than "wrong place, wrong time" or "mr. police officer wants to show off for the drunk girls at the bar."

So, for me, it reflects nothing of justice to treat incarcerated people in the same way that convicted criminals are treated.

As for criminals, it's probably ok. He just never answered why he chose to treat people that our law presumes innocent until proven guilty beyond any reasonable doubt in the same way that he treats convicted criminals. That's b.s. to me, and I hope he pays for it in this life rather than the next.

irreverend fox said...

let's remove Tent City from the equation.

how do other jail systems work? are the inmates in those systems who are yet convicted treated better, eat better or sleep in better conditions then the convicted inmates? NO. all inmates are treated the same.

say in Summit county jail system for example...those inmates who are not convicted yet can not post bail are treated the same as those convicted.

so this sheriff is not doing anything different in that sense then any other county jail system. if you are in you are in.

do you believe the conditions are inhuman?

How often are cops showing off to girls at the bar? most of the time? half the time? a tenth? tell us all zac so we can understand…how often do you suppose cops show off and unjustly arrest people like you describe?

Zac said...


I really don't think it's the same thing at all.

Same, or Not:
It all depends on what you mean. Those arrested for crimes of any sort, be it petty theft or rape/homicide are not put in the maximum security lock-downs: that's just not how it works, unless there are compelling reasons to view them as an escape threat, and that takes court orders and everything.

So no, it's not really an issue of treating everyone the same because even in the "cushy" facilities not everyone goes to cellblock D while awaiting trial-- some just go to the county lock-up. Certainly NONE of them go on chain gangs while awaiting trial. So no, again, not the same.

But let's assume that somehow it was the same. That really proves nothing, because the whole reason we're talking about it is because 116 degree tent life with baloney sandwiches is considerably more harsh than many other prison systems.

Same treatment which ends up too cushy for convicts but fair towards those whom our Constitution demands be presumed innocent prior to conviction is far different than same treatment which might be fair towards (at least some) convicts and grossly taxing on people that have simply been detained by law enforcement pending a trial of their peers. I'm certain you can see now why sophistries like "it's the same" fall far short in a rational analysis of such a situation, especially when about 2/3rds of those inmates (he claimed) had NOT been convicted of ANYTHING.

Inhuman Conditions?

I don't believe they're inhuman, only that the punitive nature of the environment makes it more than simple detainment while awaiting Constitutionally guaranteed Due Process before being deprived of life, liberty or property.

Unjust Arrests

I don't have statistics, but from your question I can guarantee you it happens far more than you think it does. People get arrested all the time for things they have nothing to do with-- life doesn't always go down like Magnum P.I. or CSI.

The genius of the law is that it always assumes that the police have the wrong guy until the state fulfills its burden of unanimously convincing a jury of laymen beyond a reasonable doubt that the person committed the crime... it ASSUMES human error because it is far better for ten guilty men to go free than for one innocent person to be punished. That is our legal tradition.

Police make mistakes-- it's the nature of the business. Police DO commit injustices, but more often police arrest the wrong person even when they're doing the right thing. That's because police officers must only show "probable cause"... a FAR LOWER standard than "beyond any reasonable doubt".

I'm surprised you're so skeptical that people are arrested for stuff they didn't do-- or maybe you're just being snarky to play devil's advocate?

My point-- in my opinion, this crosses the line for people that have not yet been convicted of anything. For convicts of some crimes, it's probably fine.

irreverend fox said...


none of those guys are cell block D candidates at the time of their stay. that is determined before they check in. I spoke with a frequent guest of several county jails about this. He is a real expert. He told me that depending on your offense or the charge, all inmates are treated equally within their classification. Guys convicted of robbery are not treated in more harsh conditions then guys charged with it. the only way you can “move up” in any way or “move down” in any way having to do with comforts is by your behavior in the system.

it's the same in Tent City as it is in the Summit County Jail in that regard.

irreverend fox said...

"I'm surprised you're so skeptical that people are arrested for stuff they didn't do-- or maybe you're just being snarky to play devil's advocate?"

no...I do believe people are arrested for stuff they didn't do. that's why the presumption of innocence is the best way to approach the issue.

but that is not the same as unjust arrest. hey...I've never been arrested and I bet you have never been arrested either. And I bet it's not cause we're lucky. I have a feeling we, for whatever reason, avoid situations were crimes are or are likely to be going down. Therefore we are not likely lumped in and arrested for something we technically did not do.

there is, in my mind, a massive distinction between arresting the wrong guy and UNJUSTLY arresting someone. you can justly arrest the wrong guy in other words.

an example of an unjust arrest would be to simply grab some guy to impress the drunk girls at the bar and for little other reason then that. I DO NOT BELIEVE THAT HAPPENS IN ANYTHING REMOTELY SIGNIFICANT FREQUENCY BY POLICE. I don't believe they frequently arrest blacks for being blacks or gays for being gays. I think that 99% of the time cops arrest people for reasonable reasons...even if of course a part of that number turns out to be false.

do you see what I'm saying? I'm not saying cops don't make mistakes...they very much clearly do. but I am saying that they VAST majority of cops...99%...are not arbitrary in how they arrest people.

if you are not at the wrong place you don't need to worry about the wrong time. that strategy has worked out GREAT for me thus far. I know many blacks and other people repressed by society who have implemented this same strategy in their lives and are finding the same results. it’s really remarkable.