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Nikolai Khabibulin will call Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s Tent City home for his 15 days in jail

Jul 28, 2011, 12:18 AM EDT

Nikolai Khabibulin AP

When Nikolai Khabibulin dropped his appeal over his extreme DUI and reckless driving conviction from last summer and opted to serve his jail sentence, there’s one thing he may not have been counting on when it came time to head to jail. Given that Khabibulin’s crime occurred in Maricopa County in Arizona, he fell under the jurisdiction of Sheriff Joe Arpaio, the country’s most radical law enforcement agent.

Instead of denim blues and 15 days behind bars, Khabibulin has a date set in Sheriff Joe’s Tent City and a uniform that instead of your traditional prison blues or orange jumpsuit, takes on a bit of a different look. Not only will things look different, the way things are done in Maricopa County differ from just about everything else you ever thought you knew about jail.

Sheriff Joe does things a little different in Tent City as the Edmonton Journal’s Conal Pierse shares.

“There will be no coffee, no salt, no cigarettes, no porno, no movies,” Arpaio said.

“The only television we give them is the weather channel, so they can see how hot it is.”

The coming weekend is forecast to be a sweltering 41 C (106 F), even hotter under the thick canvas tents.

As if that’s not enough on the restrictions for Khabibulin, he’ll also take on a much different look than he’s used to.

Khabibulin will also have to shave off his long, hockey locks to conform to the jail’s grooming policy, which specifies all inmates have conservative hairstyles with short sideburns. There are also no playoff beards allowed, and inmates can only sport the Sidney Crosby moustache that doesn’t extend past the corners of the mouth.

Inside, the netminder will wear Arpaio’s signature pink boxers — an anti-theft measure brought in after inmates took to smuggling white boxers out of jail to sell — and an old-school black and white striped jumpsuit.

Not only is it pink boxers, but it’s also pink bracelets and pink blankets as well. At the very least, Khabibulin can take some solace in the fact that he’s not the only famous person to spend time at Tent City. Charles Barkley and Mike Tyson have also done time at Sheriff Joe’s strange lawbreaker boot camp and while those guys didn’t spend a lot of time there either, adding Khabibulin’s name to their infamous hall of fame helps Arpaio look tough for booking celebrities there as well as other criminals.

For Khabibulin, having to do work out in Tent City will be humbling but when he opted to give up his appeal and go to jail, he was doing the right thing for owning up to his colossal mistake of driving drunk and going 30 miles per hour over the limit. Doing the crime is one thing and being a celebrity and serving the time is sometimes something else entirely. Here’s to hoping that Khabibulin learns to improve himself after going through all this.

  1. trbowman - Jul 28, 2011 at 11:54 PM

    Not surprised, Arizona is very tough on DUIs

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