We Need More Sheriffs Like This One

From a Chicago Sun-Times article by Dan Rozek:

Lake County Sheriff Mark C. Curran Jr. sentenced himself today to a week in his own jail, saying he believes spending time behind bars will make him a better cop and a better person.

(Hat tip: Arloa Sutter)

Andrew Yull

If he is motivated by a desire to develop empathy for his "clients," then I applaud his actions. If, instead, his motivation has more to do with manipulating the public's perception of him, well, that's a bit more unsavory. I'm impressed either way.

Paul B

Having visited many county jails on business (someone has to fix the computers) the difference in treatment between liked and disliked prisoners, let alone the boss, gives me no reason to believe this is anything other than a PR stunt. It's like the manager of a McDonald's changing out of uniform and walking up to the counter to order lunch. There's no way it can be the same.

#5 - Wouldn't that be up to the prosecutor's office, not the sheriff?

H. Trent Moore

Interesting idea. Will this really have any effect on larger political frameworks?

Editor of "The Journal of Applied Economy"



Here in Brazil, if all the bad cops would think this way, there would not be jails enough.

Doug B

If one week will make him better, how about 2...or 3...or 1000?


inflation having a drastic effects....


When did Steve Martin become sheriff . . . oh, nevermind.


Can we get him to run for a higher office?


he is guilty of himself..nd he thought to give a different view alltogether...thts just power of words..

Gustavo Munoz

Why public money should be use to feed this man for a week?

Did he took this week on leave or is he going to be working from jail?


I assume he likes the sexual possibilities provided by jail. What a chump!


In middle school I convinced one the the vice-principals who was a little too free in handing out detetnions to sit in detention with me. (I had never received a detention.)

I think it had some effect when one of 9 students to not recieve a detention in 3 years told her that the exercise was pointless, as the following year the program was changed, and fewer punishments handed out.

David Jinkins

This way we could get rid of the police force entirely and all just police ourselves...I suppose it would be hard to pay us all for our work, though.


#6 - they did that in cleveland in the middle of winter. college kids sleeping in cardboard boxes. except it was too cold so they all went inside at 3am.

KO Edmond

It's probably a little like being sprayed with pepper spray before being able to use it (as part of training during police academy or most security jobs). Although a week isn't much time, it might offer some insight as to where a cop might want to be lenient and where he might want to be strict.


I beleive Jack Abermoff is performing a similar experiment. That's what I heard on Fox News.


It's more of a field trip than imprisonment. While it's completely noble to find out in person ways of improving and humanizing prison life, he will never understand the psychological stress that normal convicted felons go through until he walks in their shoes.

The words "sentences homself" in the title is solely for marketing purposes.


It's fairly common for new jail employees to spend a night or two in jail before they start work and become known to the inmates.


I'm going to make myself a better economist by reading this blog for a week! Wait! I do that! And, if I actually listened to it, I'd probably be dumber!


OK, I'll bite. Why do we need more sheriffs like this one?

It's a great idea, the ultimate example of "management by walking around." BUT...

This guy announced his intentions at a press conference, and explained his inspiration as coming from God.

If he was truly seeking knowledge, the press conference was unnecessary, and there would be no need to tell the public about God's involvement. At least not prior to the event.

There's the possibility, too, that pure, unadulterated anonymity (for example, living a prisoner's life in a different jail) might teach the man more than he will learn under these circumstances.

Still, some good may come of it. Seems like a lot of overhead in publicity and religion, but you never know. Some good may come of it.