The Tent City Jail In Arizona Is Closing After 22 Years

joe arpaio tent city closing

Aerial view of Tent City which will be closing in December of this year. (AP Photo/Michael Kortas)

Phoenix, Arizona — After 22-years of controversy, the tents in Phoenix, Arizona are finally coming down.

In a unanimous decision early this morning, the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors voted in favor of closing the facility this December.

Paul Horner with the American Civil Liberties Union spoke with reporters about the closing of Tent City.

“This is a move that is long overdue, but I applaud the council for finally making that right move,” Horner told local news station ABC15. “Tent City is the definition of a human rights violation and even though they may be inmates, they deserve to be treated like human beings. Sheriff Joe Arpaio has routinely abused pre-trial detainees by feeding them moldy bread, rotten fruit and other contaminated food. Arpaio chose to house inmates in 20-year old tents, so hot as to endanger their health, denying them care for serious medical and mental health needs and keeping them packed as tightly as sardines for days at a time.”

Arpaio’s Tent City is notorious for inhumane conditions, from the food to the 118 degree heat.

On Thursday an inmate died in the tents after officers noticed the man had not shown up for work. No foul play is suspected.

According to NBC News, the Maricopa County Board of Supervisor’s main reason for shutting down the tents comes after years of protests, Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s current legal battles and pressure from lawmakers to close the facility.

Joe Arpaio Implements New Inmate Pharmacy Work Program Filling Prescription Drugs For AZ Residents

Joe Arpaio explaining the new inmate Pharmacy work program that begins September 1st.

Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio seen here explaining the new inmate pharmacy work program to reporters.

Phoenix, AZ — Sheriff Joe Arpaio held a press conference today to announce a new controversial inmate work program that will take effect September 1st. The program allows inmates to fill prescription drugs for Arizona residents and in return will receive lesser prison sentences.

Arpaio told CNN about the benefits of the new program. “This is a genuine, progressive advance in corrections and rehabilitation. Our inmates, properly supervised, will be put to work outside these walls performing all manner of public service. These men and women can learn the value of an honest day’s labor while providing a valuable service to the community — and at a bare minimum of expense to Mr. and Mrs. John Q. Taxpayer!”

Arizona Governor Jan Brewer applauded Arpaio’s new program. “Inmates working in supervised jail pharmacies and filling these prescriptions is a great idea,” Brewer said. “This pharmacy work program will save the residents of Arizona millions of dollars a year. More importantly it will provide the inmates a feeling of self-worth along with providing them a great set of job skills when they are released.”

The inmate pharmacies will be located about a mile north of Arpaio’s current Tent City Jail at 2939 W. Durango Street in Phoenix. The prescriptions that the inmates will be filling for Arizona residents include everything from drugs such as Xanax to Oxycontin. Arpaio told reporters that for every ten hours a prisoner works in the pharmacy program they will receive one less day on their prison sentence. He also explained that no violent offenders or criminals with current drug charges will have the ability to work in these new inmate pharmacies. For more information you can contact the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office directly at (602) 876-1801.‎

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