Sheriff Joe Arpaio Blasting Christmas Carols to Inmates

Katie Pavlich
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Posted: Nov 29, 2010 1:54 PM
Sheriff Joe Arpaio is doing his best to get inmates into the holiday spirit.

From the Washington Times:

The self-proclaimed "toughest sheriff" in America, Phoenix's Joe Arpaio, who has survived six separate inmate lawsuits trying to stop him from playing Christmas music, will begin playing the tunes again this year - starting Monday with "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer,""Frosty the Snowman" and "Feliz Navidad."

The 8,000 inmates also will hear, among others, "A Christmas Kwanzaa Solstice," "Over the Skies of Israel," "Ramadan," "Llego a La Ciudad," "Let it Snow" and "Rodolpho El Reno de la Nariz Rojita."

"Maybe the holiday music can help lift the spirits of the men and women who are away from friends and family during the holidays, not just the inmates, but the dedicated men and women who work in the Maricopa County Jails," the sheriff said in an announcement Sunday.

The Maricopa County Sheriff's Office, to which Sheriff Arpaio was first elected in 1992 after a 25-year career at the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), has played the holiday songs all day, every day, during previous seasons. The latest inmate lawsuit was dismissed in federal court in December 2009.

Sheriff Arpaio has long expressed his fondness for Christmas music, especially "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer" and anything by Alvin and the Chipmunks, so it was with some glee last year that he announced in a red-and-green press release that the lawsuit had been dismissed and the music would begin.

"We keep winning these lawsuits. Inmates should stop acting like the Grinch who stole Christmas and give up wasting the court's time with such frivolous assertions," the press release read.

Inmates have sued six times claiming that being forced to listen to the Christmas songs 12 hours a day was in violation of their civil and religious rights and a cruel and unusual punishment, but U.S. District Judge Roz Silver disagreed, dismissing the case and denying claims for $250,000 in damages.