Military veterans will be housed together in Arizona’s Maricopa County Jail, according to a plan from Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio.
On Wednesday, Arpaio formally announced his plan to house approximately 250 veteran inmates together in a housing unit that dons “patriotic décor” and features special behavioral programming aimed at dealing with symptoms of post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), according to ABC News.
KFYI reports that Arpaio noted veterans in jail should get special treatment because they have special needs and they have a common bond.
“We have programs for all the inmates — drug programs, alcohol treatment, high school — but this is a little different putting them all together [in one unit],” Arpaio said.
One prisoner acknowledged that he likes what Arpaio is doing.
“We talk about our military experience, the kind of traumas we went through,” former Army Sgt. Michael Donn stated. “Myself, I’m 100% disabled with PTSD after serving over in Iraq, and it’s nice to have other inmates to talk to about that that served with you.”
ABC News also notes that programs like these have popped up across the country in recent years, with veteran inmate wings opening in Georgia and Los Angeles. Phoenix’s program is like one put into place more than three years ago in San Francisco County.
Arpaio has called himself “America’s toughest sheriff,” particularly on immigration. In October, a federal judge ordered an independent monitor to oversee Arpaio, after ruling that the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office singled out Latinos for detention.