A sheriff known for his get-tough attitude has ordered inmates to wear pink underwear.
Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio had the county-issued undergarments dyed the bright color so guards can spot inmates trying to smuggle them outside during work-release assignments. He also is dying jail-issued socks pink."These macho men may not like pink, but that's their problem," he said Monday.
Arpaio said inmates smuggle out and resell about $40,000 worth of underwear a year. The boxer shorts, which have the initials for the sheriff's office stamped on the bottom, are in demand as novelty items.
Arpaio is eliminating the initials from future pairs.
Arpaio, nationally known for his tough treatment of inmates, has banned cigarettes, pornographic magazines, television and coffee in the five county jails that house a total of nearly 6,000 inmates. He also has housed some inmates in tent cities in 110-degree heat.
The Justice Department has begun an investigation into whether there is a pattern of abuse and civil rights violations at the jails and tent cities.