Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio put 38 inmates on bread and water this week for desecrating the US flag.
The first offense is seven days on bread and water and the second offense is ten days on bread and water.
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Dozens of inmates in Arizona jails run by a sheriff who has been a controversial figure in the national immigration debate have been put on a diet of bread and water for desecrating U.S. flags that hang in each cell, authorities said on Friday.
Maricopa County lawman Joe Arpaio, who has been called “America’s toughest sheriff,” said 38 inmates were currently getting these meals twice a day as punishment for destroying government property while in custody at six jails.
“These inmates have destroyed the American flag that was placed in their cells. Tearing them, writing on them, stepping on them, throwing them in the toilet, trash or wherever they feel,” Arpaio said in a statement. “It’s a disgrace to those who have fought for our country.”
The punishment will last for seven days, he said, and a second offense would bring 10 more days of the sparse diet.
A sheriff’s spokesman said the bread provides the daily requirement of calories and nutrients that is necessary. There are about 8,300 inmates in the jail system.