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Joe Arpaio’s Infamous Tent City Jail In Maricopa County Will Shut Down

Inmates lay subsequent to their bunks in a yard of a Tent City Jail in Arizona’s Maricopa County.

Charlie Riedel/AP


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Charlie Riedel/AP

Inmates lay subsequent to their bunks in a yard of a Tent City Jail in Arizona’s Maricopa County.

Charlie Riedel/AP

Former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio customarily forked to a notorious, outward Tent City Jail he non-stop in a 1990s as a pitch of his “tough on crime” stance. Inmates live in tents by a breathless Arizona summer feverishness and are released out-of-date striped jail jumpsuits and pinkish underwear.

Now, it’s shutting down.

“This trickery is not a crime deterrent, it is not cost efficient, and it is not tough on criminals,” newly-elected Sheriff Paul Penzone told reporters during a news discussion Tuesday.

“This trickery became some-more of a playground atmosphere for a ubiquitous public.” Penzone said. “Starting today, that playground ends and these tents come down.”

Penzone projected that during slightest half of a tent race will be changed indoors within 45-60 days. He pronounced it might take several months to residence those inmates who spend usually partial of their time during a Tent City Jail, such as those on work furlough.

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Closing a trickery and promulgation a inmates to other apprehension centers will save about $4.5 million, Penzone added. It will also concede crew to be deployed to other locations that are understaffed.

The trickery non-stop in 1993, a year Arpaio was inaugurated sheriff, evidently to hoop a surging jail population. It was widely criticized by rights groups as degrading and inhumane.

Arpaio frequently took reporters on tours of a facility, that increasing his open picture as a contentious “toughest policeman in America.”

During his debate to reject Arpaio, Penzone criticized his luminary status: “It shouldn’t be that we go to another place in a nation or outward a nation and they know who a policeman is. … And it’s for all a wrong reasons, and that’s what is even some-more disturbing.”

During a news conference, Penzone pronounced a process examination found that opposite to Arpaio’s claims, there’s no justification that Tent City Jail and a tough repute done people reduction expected to dedicate crimes.

Tents and beds during a Tent City Jail in 2010.

Matt York/Associated Press


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Matt York/Associated Press

In fact, he said, it had turn a “preferred plcae and a choice” for a inmates. “That undermines and goes opposite all a things that we’ve been told for distant too long,” Penzone said.

“What does that tell you? It tells we that this disastrous picture that we’ve gotten given 1993, that we are so tough on prisoners in Maricopa County that this is how we provide them — that this is false,” Grant Woods, who led a review, pronounced during a news conference.

“The good news is that we weren’t guilty of that — they have an sourroundings there that they select to be in, and consider it’s OK and cite it to a choice of being cooped adult 23 hours a day,” Woods added. “The bad news is that a rest of a nation thinks we’re that arrange of chairman that would abuse and disparage prisoners and put them in such oppressive situations.”

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The Tent City Jail’s race appearance during 1,700 inmates though now stands during 700-800, Woods said. At a same time, staffing continued during a same levels, definition a cost per invalid approximately doubled.

After Tuesday’s announcement, Arpaio insisted in an Associated Press talk that “inmates found a formidable to be a oppressive place.” He combined that he wasn’t upset, observant that he “didn’t do it for a legacy.”

Alessandra Soler, executive executive of a American Civil Liberties Union of Arizona, pronounced it is a “good step forward” though that “there’s still work to do.”

She added: “Maricopa County should use a assets from shutting Tent City to urge caring for mentally ill detainees, as good as deposit in programs and services that provide a base causes of crime, like drug and mental health diversion programs, increasing entrance to mental health care, and pursuit training and education.”