Mobile, AL – The Mobile County Sheriff’s Office (MCSO) posted a photo of its mugshot-adorned Christmas tree on Thursday, topping the display off with a pair of yellow jailhouse shoes.
The festive image was posted to the MCSO’s TEAM SHERIFF Facebook page accompanied by a brief description of its significance.
“We have decorated our Tree with THUGSHOTS to show how many Thugs we have taken off the streets of Mobile this year!” the post read. “We could not have done it without our faithful followers! #weloveu #thanks4sharing.”
The MCSO went on to tell followers about a special Christmas offer it is extending to “ALL MOBILE COUNTY THUGS” throughout the month of December.
“Come to [the sheriff’s office] and you will get to pick out one item from our property room!” the department teased. “That’s right…any of the things that your friend THUGS have stolen will be available for you!”
“But that’s not all, after you choose your one stolen item, your very own personal concierge #correctionsofficer will provide an escort to METRO DELUXE where you will receive your FREE COVID TEST,” the MCSO continued. “If you pass your test, then your concierge will take you for a ‘custom fitting’ to receive your Holiday Jumpsuit with matching ‘flap flops.’”
The sheriff’s office offered up some fashion advice to help offenders perfect their jailhouse style.
“Many people ask after receiving their custom fit jumpsuit, What are the different ways to wear a jumpsuit during the holiday season?” the MCSO explained. “Our experts, #repeatoffenders, say dress it up with a jacket on top, blazer for formal events or a leather jacket for those casual outings…#thebasketballcourtwherenobodyeverplays…You can even tie a jacket around your waist during the day in place of a belt #cuzbeltsarenotallowedatMetro #yikes.”
The sheriff’s office encouraged citizens to contact them to arrange a “Christmas Surprise” for anyone they might recognize on the tree.
The post received mixed feedback on social media.
While many admonished the MCSO for making light of people being incarcerated and away from their families for the holidays, others argued that inmates are in jail due to their own choices.
One commenter said he was previously convicted of an offense that resulted in him spending time in a jail facility – an experience he did not seem intent on repeating.
“I’ve worked around enough police/sheriff deputies to assure you that anyone on this particular tree was not taking any consideration of their family when they did what ended with them arrested,” he wrote. “A certain percentage of the people on this tree were statistically likely to have committed crimes against their own children/families.”
“Perhaps you should spend more time outside your insular positive circle of associates to see what actual humanity is like,” he suggested. “It’s likely you haven’t come into contact with enough of the negative side to balance your perspective on what is tasteful. These people are celebrating removing harmful people from your own neighborhood. Yeah, it’s twisted, but if you came face-to-face with some of them, you would have no qualms.”
The ex-inmate noted that critics are failing to realize that law enforcement has protected society so effectively, many people fail to realize the dangers that still exist in their communities.
“I appreciate that you have managed to form a positive existence, free of contamination from the dark side of humanity,” he wrote. “This privilege was paid for by hard work of others in uniform to suppress people who would interrupt your life with their impulsiveness and violence. You need to be, not necessarily appreciative, but aware of that.”