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Dupnik v. Arpaio: Reason v. Reaction…

As a psychologist (PsyD) with plenty of working class, journalistic, investigative, and political experience (including 22+ yrs in numerous jails and prisons around the planet), I often fail to bite my tongue and keep my mouth shut.  Today is no exception.

My Muse: Psych Kat...

Shrinks learn early in our education and professional training that how a person is treated, especially in young, formative years, is usually predictive of adult behaviors.  This axiom accounts significantly for the therapeutic foundations behind transference and projection:  How a person responds to and treats others helps inform us of their early history and basic character.

Generally speaking, people who are raised in a nurturant home (the specific form–nuclear family, single parent, straight, gay, etc.–is irrelevant) with rational and reasonable boundaries and responsibilities, tend to become mature nurturant adults.

Those who are raised in homes where order is based on fear, intimidation, obedience, authority and punishment, homes of ,say, abusive control-freak fathers or overly permissive mothers, the children tend to grow to be self-absorbed and/or abusers themselves.

No doubt you met some of these latter types early in your lives.  Bullies, intimidators and the like are often mischanneled by teachers and other figures into positions of authority over others, such as being appointed hall monitors, safety patrol, etc.

In the extreme expression of this pathology, sociopaths become societal predators.  Some bcome civilian criminals while others track into authoritative personalities seeking positions of authority and control, such as, police, prison guards, or even conservative politicians.

Psychologists who work in law enforcement and related fields are especially watchful for these types of mentally disordered personalities.  They realize that their pathology is simply being channeled or sublimated into acceptable fields (until these crimes impact them, of course).

Certainly one of the central reasons for the extremely high criminal recidivism rate of released prisoners (up to 67% returning to prison within 3 yrs of release) is due to a combination of the lack of rehabilitative programs and the conservative cyclic reaction of retribution & punishment.

Again, simply put, how a person is treated is how they tend to react themselves.  What conservatives refer to as “bleeding hearts” and the “nanny state,” in fact, displays their own lack of social consciousness.

A glaring example of these two types can be demonstrated in the recent news.  While I don’t have access to their youthful history, at least the generalization is entirely appropriate.

Sheriff Joe Arpaio

Sheriff Clarence W. Dupnik (73) of Pima County, Arizona (Tucson) has been in office for the past 27 yrs.  He’s a Democrat and a liberal who supports representative gov’t.  In addition to being sheriff, he’s a man with enough apparent character that he has unequivocally stated that he would not enforce racist laws, in particular SB-1070.

In the aftermath of the racist and right-wing-inspired shootings and murders by an impressionable and unbalanced Jared Lee Loughner (22), Sheriff Dupnik publicly denounced the calls by Sharon Angle and Sarah Palin for their gun-related threats to their political opponents.  Good conservative theatre; seriously flawed social politics.

Sheriff Dupnik denounced the atmosphere of hate and vitriol in the right-wing “media,” and that Arizona has unfortunately “become a Mecca for prejudice and bigotry.”  The complete opposite of Sheriff Dupnik is another sheriff, Joe Arpaio, of Maricopa County (Phoenix), AZ.

Given that Arpaio loves to parade his female prisoners in faux “beauty & talent contests,” and the male prisoners in pink underwear and shirts with old-style prison-striped pants, while he himself struts his cock-of-the-roost, ultra-conservatism publicly—and openly brags that he houses and feeds his dogs better than prisoners (which he does!)—I would expect to find an early home where his primary caregiver (father?) was not only grossly abusive, but was almost surely sending confused sexual signals to little Joe—or worse.

Every one of us who has spent any time in jails and prisons knows the types, some of those amongst us certainly deserve to be incapacitated due to their pathology, and some of those who rule us–equally so.

Unfortunately, at 4 o’clock-or-so, the latter return to their respective communities…

               Dr. Publico

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