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Thursday, November 12, 2009

Whether Guilty needs to be punished or ??

Criminals do harm to the society and should be punished. This is not something of retribution / vengeance or retaliation – the modern society is not keen on doing equivalent harm to them. The aim of punishment should atleast be prevention of such activity, preventing recurrence, denunciation & condemnation of the act and social protection and shielding away from harm for the fellow citizen. Now have a look at the man whom you may not know at all.
He is Joseph M Arpaio of Italian heritage, his mother died while giving birth to him and was raised by his father, a grocery strore owner.
In our democracy, when a murderer is punished by a death penalty by the Apex court, the decree is not executed and section of the people start speak in favour of the criminal. There are groups who laud criminals and voice against penal punishments.
In some ways, imprisoning is not a punishment in itself but only confinement until the final punishment is administered. Prisons were constructed to be place of confinements depriving the personal freedom and luxuries. During the freedom struggle many a great persons were confined to solitary prisons in the Cellular Jails of Andaman, which would ever remain as one of the murkiest chapters of the history of colonial role.

Perhaps today’s prisons in the Country are lot different. When the CM inaugurated the ‘Asia’s largest and modern’ prison complex at Puzhal, it was stated that jail terms should be humanized so that prisoners would emerge as enlightened teachers. The popular voice is prisons must reform, not crush the human spirit, whatever heinous crime they had committed to fellow innocent persons. The Puzhal prison was to have a fan in every cell and inmates be provided non-vegetarian diets.

There have been killings and lot of anti social activity inside the prison walls. Even recently a life convict, a known history sheeter was stabbed to death by other inmates in Puzhal. The honest Officer incharge of Prisons was immediately changed and a decision to outsource cut vegetables was taken. A recent newspaper report mentioned the prison as a rendezvous for criminals to meet, network and plot crimes; a finishing school for first-time offenders to learn the nuances of felony; a place where pot is freely available; a hotspot for murders. Cell phones are reportedly in use inside helping the convicts keep in contact with the outside world.

Now read about Maricopa County located in the south central part of the US State of Arizona having a population of 40 lakhs approx. The man whose picture appeared at the beginning is the Sheriff whose office is a fully integrated law enforcement agency committed to being the leader in establishing the standards for providing professional quality law enforcement, detention, and support services to their citizens. The Mayor has vowed to improve the quality of life of his citizens and is dedicated to providing caring and supporting environment.
Some of the innovative measures include the detention facility which boasts of 2,000 convicts in tents; no other county or state facility can boast of a gleaning program that results in costs of under 15 cents per meal per inmate. People from the community spend their time and money to train to be volunteers to keep the country free of crime.

The Chief has a philosophy of zero tolerance towards the criminal element, which has been embraced by deputies and community alike. He is immensely popular and has forged a partnership with citizens in making law enforcement of an unprecedent decree. They are proud of being on the leading edge of law enforcement and incarceration. This Toughest Sheriff has been a tough law man, having served in the US Army and as Police officer with a reputation for fighting crime and drug trafficking. Early in his career as a federal narcoctics agent, he established a stellar record in infiltrating drug organizations from Turkey to Mexico and America. In 1992 Arpaio successfully campaigned to become the Sheriff of Maricopa County. Since then he has been reelected to an unprecedented five 4-year terms. During his tenure as Sheriff of Maricopa County, Arpaio has consistently earned extraordinarily high public approval ratings.

With over four decades experience in law enforcement, Arpaio claims that the public is his boss. In August, 1993, he started the nation’s largest Tent City for convicted inmates. Two thousand convicted men and women serve their sentences in a canvas incarceration compound. It is a remarkable success story that has attracted the attention of government officials, presidential candidates, and media worldwide. Of equal success and notoriety are his chain gangs, which contribute thousands of dollars of free labor to the community. The male chain gang, and the world’s first-ever female and juvenile chain gangs, clean streets, paint over graffiti, and bury the indigent in the county cemetery.  In his reign, policies are tough. He has banned smoking, coffee, movies, pornographic magazines, and unrestricted TV in all jails. The Federal Court orders that there has to be cable TV in jails – he has cable TV showing only Disney and weather channel. Weather because he wants the morons to know how hot it would be outside. When some inmate complained of some facility, he was retorted that he has to remember that he is serving a sentence and not in Ritz/Carlton.  Their website records all those arrested and booked in the jail, making is the most visible law enforcement sites on the World Wide Web. He is also credited with many rehabilitative programmes. This tough general has been profiled in over 2,000 U.S. and foreign newspapers, magazines, and TV news programs. His leadership and the excellent work of his staff have catapulted the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office into the ranks of elite law enforcement agencies.

When law enforcement is tough, there indeed would a lot less crime. But in some countries politicians advocate that criminals have rights and some are ruling the roast even inside cell.
Recently, the State ordered release of convicts on the occasion of the birth centenary celebrations of former CM. There were views that Govt. was well within its rights to take such decisions with the consent of the Governor.

Long live Democracies and freedom of expression. Every body is equal and some are more equal than others…….

With regards
S Sampathkumar.


  1. சம்பத் நீங்கள் இருப்பது கோழி பிரியாணி தரும் ஊரில் - அன்புடன் கௌரி

  2. எங்கே சட்டங்கள் கடுமை ஆகா உள்ளதோ அங்கே குற்றங்கள் குறையும். அனால் இதை செயல் படுத்த தயிரியமான ஆட்கள் தேவை - பிரகாஷ்

  3. The rich and the powerful are a law unto themselves...the mockery in the parol to manu sharma... it stinks, God save our country - Kannan

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