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.