Arizona inmates punished with bread-and-water meals for defacing flags

(Fotolia)

(Fotolia)

QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 12:56 PM ET

Inmates at six Arizona prisons who defaced American flags placed in their cells are being punished with bread-and-water meals for seven days.

Controversial sheriff Joe Arpaio, who manages the facilities, said the 38 inmates tore the flags down and wrote on them, threw them in the toilet or stepped on them.

"It's a disgrace to those who have fought for our county," Arpaio said in a press release.

The flags are part of a new program that has inmates listen to the Star-Spangled Banner every morning and God Bless America every night. Arpaio has also segregated inmates who are veterans so they get "unique programming" and "help associated with their needs."

Arpaio, who is reportedly considering running for governor, has been accused of abusing prisoners and ignoring sex crimes. A federal court ruled last spring that his deputies racially profiled Latino drivers, although Arpaio has appealed the decision.


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