Maricopa County’s Tent City jail officially shut down
- The closing of a jail that had garnered international notoriety for its gimmicks and the camera-ready sheriff for more than two decades was met with little excitement in its last days. Tent City, Maricopa County’s iconic outdoor jail, was discreetly shuttered for the weekend, according to reports. They were transferred from the 7-acre property in southwest Phoenix late Saturday night and put into the county’s Durango Jail, which is just a few blocks away. Tent City was the idea of former Sheriff Joe Arpaio, who established it in 1993 to alleviate congestion in traditional brick-and-mortar prisons and detention centers. Since their beginnings, the tents have sparked a great deal of debate. Critics said that the circumstances were harsh, especially during Phoenix’s sweltering summers, while advocates praised the facility as a just punishment for the county’s lawbreakers and miscreants. In their pink undies, the inmates were sweating. Republican officials, including four presidential hopefuls, would tour the facilities in an attempt to win Arpaio’s support. The tents remained in place even after jail numbers began to decline in recent years, and Arpaio frequently referred to them in order to bolster his “tough-on-crime” reputation. In a news release issued last year, Sheriff Joe Arpaio expressed his desire that Tent City would celebrate its 25th anniversary. It had been 10 months since the last one. Closing Tent City was one of the first orders of business for Sheriff Paul Penzone, who was elected to replace Arpaio in November after Arpaio was dismissed from his position. Penzone announced the facility’s closure in April, referring to the tents as a “circus” rather than a deterrence to crime as he did so. Even though he ran as a Democrat, Penzone promised to eliminate politics from the struggling agency and to make choices based on public safety and financial wisdom rather than political considerations. Tent City’s continued operation cost the taxpayers around $8.6 million last year. Earlier this year, officials stated that decommissioning the plant will save the government around $4.5 million each year. Penzone said in April that Tent City will be phased down over the following six months, rather than being closed on a certain day, rather than closing immediately. According to him, this gave the agency time to identify where and how to hold offenders on work release terms, who are only permitted to be released during work or school hours. According to Penzone, “this is another another step towards the stability of this office and its operations.” ‘My primary emphasis is on identifying more effective methods of reducing recidivism while maintaining a safe working environment for our workers.’ When reached late Monday evening, Arpaio stated that his replacement is free to “do anything he wants.” “It’s been a fantastic program, and I want to continue it,” Arpaio added. “(But) he’s the sheriff now,” says the narrator. As stated by spokesman Mark Casey, convicts have been gradually transported to Durango over the course of the previous several days. He claimed the remaining 17 convicts from Tent City were released around 11 p.m. on Saturday. Upon learning of the jail’s unceremonious closure, Casey responded in an email, saying, “This agency is moving on.” “There has been much too much focus/obsession on Tents at the expense of other significant issues impacting MCSO and the people we serve,” says the commissioner. Tents and pink underpants are an outdated and out-of-date storyline. ” Tent City’s full-time convicts — around 400 as of April — were the first to be moved, and they did so over the course of several weeks. Despite the fact that the numbers change from day to day, Casey estimated that around 370 offenders were participating in a work-release or work-furlough program as of Monday morning. Authorities began demolishing the tents in May and selling valuable things at auction to raise money for the sheriff’s department. The famous “Vacancy” sign, as well as the tents themselves, will be placed in storage, according to Casey. According to local regulations, the steel frames of the tents will be chopped into pieces and sold as scrap metal. Officials with the Sheriff’s Office have not yet stated what they intend to do with the site. MORE INFORMATION CAN BE FOUND AT: Tent City, the iconic prison for convicts who wore pink underwear and a big part of Arpaio’s reputation, is closing its doors for good. Despite the heat wave, Tent City continues to house 350 convicts. Checking the facts: Sheriff Penzone claims that the closing of Tent City will save the county $4.5 million. is he correct
Arizona’s ‘concentration camp’: why was Tent City kept open for 24 years?
In a show of defiance, the convicts yelled, “Hitler! Hitler!” in front of the television cameras. It was the 4th of February, 2009. In Arizona’s infamous jail, Tent City, more than 200 Latino men dressed in black and white striped uniforms and chained to one another were being marched into an outdoor section reserved only for “illegal immigrant” inmates. The chants were directed at Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, who had just a few months earlier described this outdoor jail near downtown Phoenix – which he had built as part of his “tough-on-crime” strategy – as a “concentration camp” in a speech to political supporters at his local Italian-American club.
I was able to make it through.
- The prison was also able to survive.
- The facility, which peaked in the late 1990s, consisted of 82 Korean War-era military tents that could accommodate 1,700 convicts.
- It stayed open in spite of several lawsuits filed by wrongfully imprisoned former prisoners, growing public indignation, and harsh criticism from organizations such as Amnesty International, who decried the institution as inhumanely overcrowded and unsafe.
- However, like with Arpaio’s own legacy, Tent City’s existence is set to come to an end, leaving many local residents, civil rights organizations, and former convicts scratching their heads in bemusement as to how it managed to thrive for so long.
- Photograph courtesy of Ross D.
- When it first opened its doors in August 1993, it was intended to be a temporary solution to congestion in the other Maricopa County prisons.
- Over several months, detainees condemned for small offences slept under green fabric tents, on bunk beds set on big cement slabs on gravel, under the green cloth tents.
Despite the fact that there was an interior air-conditioned room where inmates could wash and get ill respite from the heat, they were not permitted to spend the night in that facility.
The sheriff explained that he picked pink to deter convicts from attempting to steal them.
However, in 2007, as the border state of Arizona became the primary entry point for more than half of all undocumented migrants and as worries of terrorism mounted, he shifted his focus, directing his ire towards illegal immigration rather than terrorism.
Clothes with stripes and pink underwear were common issue for employees at the factory.
He said that this was a low-cost method of spreading his anti-immigrant message to the general people.
For shock effect, Arpaio advertised this wing as a holding facility for “illegal aliens,” but in reality, it was a holding facility for anybody who was pending transfer to another law-enforcement agency.
“When we tried to communicate with them, they disregarded us.” He was sentenced to Tent City after being convicted of drunk driving.
Wind and rain were able to enter through holes in the tents, soaking the sleeping bags.
When Paul Penzone became sheriff, he immediately stated that the remaining vestiges of Tent City would be demolished in October.
Inmates were compelled to labor on chain gangs, which had been abandoned by the United States, with a few exceptions, in 1955, but were still in use in several parts of the world.
The rest of the inmates were required to labor within the jail, and some were part of a furlough program – which is still in force – that enabled them to go outside to work while returning to Tent City for the night.
It wasn’t long before the tents developed a terrible reputation, said to Tom Bearup, who served as chief executive officer of Arpaio’s organization from 1988 to 1997.
During one disturbance in 1996, Bearup witnessed detainees burn parts of the tents as a show of defiance against the authorities.
Since the beginning, I’ve maintained the following position: ‘Our men and women fight for our nation and live in tents, so why are you moaning when the condemned are doing their sentences in tents?’ According to Arpaio, speaking to the Guardian.
The blazing summer heat inside the Tent City jail caused the color of an inmate’s sandal to fade from pink to dark brown.
As one of Arpaio’s most vocal detractors, Michael Manning, a litigation attorney, claims that Tent City was overcrowded at times, creating a “horrendously hazardous situation.” “He got away with it because people were willing to overlook the bigotry that was ingrained in his speech,” Manning continues.
- Over the course of 15 years, Manning has been successful in more than a dozen claims involving maltreatment and wrongful deaths at Arpaio’s facilities in Maricopa County.
- Crenshaw died in 2003 as a result of difficulties that occurred while he was being imprisoned in another jail.
- The family turned down a $1 million settlement and instead chose to go to trial, where they were defeated.
- These include worries about understaffing, as expressed in a 2003 letter from the county’s risk-management department, which cautioned Arpaio that unless jail conditions improved, the county would be responsible for punitive penalties in future lawsuits brought by mistreated inmates.
Image courtesy of John Moore/Getty Images According to Mary Rose Wilcox, a former Democratic supervisor to the Maricopa County board, a five-member governmental body that oversees the sheriff’s budget for the past 21 years, “people were aware that what he was doing was inhumane, but my Republican colleagues were so afraid of the sheriff that they allowed him to get away with it.” The jail, on the other hand, stayed open.
- It was attended by presidential contenders, and it made international headlines when media teams from Japan and England came to cover the event.
- “It was hot in there,” recalls Kathryn Kobor, a 74-year-old woman who visited the jail in 2015.
- “You commit the crime, you commit the sentence,” she says, quoting Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s own catchphrase.
- As a result of his involvement in a series of expensive litigation throughout the campaign season, many Republicans turned against him during the campaign.
- Sheriff Paul Penzone took over for Arpaio in 2016, inheriting six prisons and an ailing law enforcement organization that had been placed under the supervision of a federal monitor following allegations of civil rights violations against Latinos.
- This was the first step in the process.
- Former Republican Attorney General Grant Woods, who served as chairman of a committee appointed by Penzone to investigate the facility, said there is no evidence that Tent City has helped reduce recidivism, as Arpaio claimed.
- At the time of writing, there are around 370 men and women detained in one compound of Tent City, according to estimates.
- Because they are participating in a special program that allows them to leave their tents to work during the day, they will be there until October.
- An empty tower guarded a collection of courtyards covered with gravel with a patchwork of cement slabs where some of the tents used to be, according to a recent visit in July.
- Arpaio was scheduled to be sentenced on October 5th, and he faced a maximum penalty of six months in jail for deliberately disobeying a federal court order.
According to Fox News, President Trump said, “I might do it straight soon, maybe as early as this week.” “I’m definitely considering it right now.” As a “wonderful American patriot,” Arpaio, he continued, “has contributed significantly to the battle against illegal immigration.” Immigrants like Valdez, on the other hand, would want to see the sheriff put behind bars.
” “I’d want to see him in a tiny tent beneath the sun, dressed in pink boxers, pink shoes, and a pink towel,” says the author. Follow Guardian Cities on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram to participate in the conversation, and browse our Archive for more information.
Last Inmates Leave Tent City, a Remnant of Joe Arpaio (Published 2017)
Protesting in front of the television cameras, the inmates screamed, “Hitler! Hitler!” In the year 2009, it was the fourth of February. Tent City, Arizona’s notorious jail, was being marched towards an outdoor unit specifically for “illegal alien” inmates when more than 200 Latino men in black and white striped uniforms were chained together. They were aimed at Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, who had just a few months earlier described this outdoor jail near downtown Phoenix – which he built as part of his “tough-on-crime strategy” – as “concentration camp” in a speech to political supporters at his local Italian-American club.
- However, it makes no difference whether or not it was a concentration camp.” I managed to make it through.
- Also surviving was the jail.
- In the late 1990s, it had a population of 1,700 inmates and consisted of 82 Korean War-era military tents.
- It stayed open in spite of several lawsuits filed by wrongfully imprisoned former prisoners, growing public outcry, and harsh condemnation from organizations such as Amnesty International, who decried the institution as cruel, overcrowded, and dangerous.
- In recent years, Tent City has become synonymous with Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s legacy, prompting many local city residents, human rights organizations, and former convicts to wonder how it has managed to thrive for so long.
- Franklin A planned two-decade stay at the site was never intended.
- It only cost $80,000 to build, according to Arpaio, who used old military tents from the Korean War.
In the summer, the dry heat of Arizona may cause indoor temperatures to rise up to 54 degrees Celsius (130 degrees Fahrenheit).
A pink underwear set, pink shoes, and damp towels wrapped around their necks were provided to inmates to help them cool off in the heat.
Because of his efforts to combat the drug trade and criminal gangs from the early 1990s, Arpaio has been dubbed “America’s toughest sheriff” by the media.
It was a particularly polarizing undertaking, eliciting awe and adoration from certain members of the local community while generating vehement condemnation from those who considered it as a site of shame.
John Moore/Getty Images is the photographer for this photograph.
The anti-immigrant message, he claimed, could be delivered at a low cost using this medium.
While Arpaio portrayed the facility as a detention center for “illegal aliens,” in actuality, it was a holding facility for anybody who was pending transfer to another law-enforcement agency, presumably for shock effect.
They would ignore us when we spoke to them.
Wind and rain were able to enter through holes in the tents, soaking the mattresses.
Tent City’s final remains will be demolished in October, according to the new sheriff Paul Penzone, who declared the closure.
The only all-female chain gang in the United States was based in Maricopa County in Arizona.
Working in the laundry department, Valdez organized uniform supply orders for the five other jails on a volunteer basis without compensation.
According to him, “at first, detention officers were apprehensive about working there since it was risky.” A disturbance may break out, but there weren’t many people present.
Nonetheless, Arpaio was able to get significant political support for the proposal despite the obstacles.
The blazing summer heat at Tent City jail caused the color of an inmate’s sandal to fade from pink to brown.
Over the course of 15 years, Manning has been successful in more than a dozen claims involving maltreatment and wrongful death in Arpaio’s jails in Maricopa County.
He died in 2003 as a result of difficulties that occurred when he was imprisoned in another prison.
When the family turned down a $1 million settlement offer, they instead took their case to trial, where they were defeated.
Concerns have been raised regarding understaffing, according to the investigations.
Some 370 illegal immigrants are presently being held at the prison, and the vast majority of them will be deported to Mexico after their sentences are completed.
Mary Rose Wilcox, a former Democratic supervisor for 21 years to the Maricopa County board, a five-member governing body that monitors the sheriff’s budget, claims that “people knew it was horrible, but my Republican colleagues were so terrified of the sheriff that they let him get away with it.” The jail, on the other hand, stayed open.
- They were joined by other tourists and members of the general public.
- It was in 2016 that Arpaio’s political career began to crumble.
- Last but not least, a federal judge found the former sheriff guilty of breaching a 2011 order to stop holding immigrants during traffic patrols who he suspected of being in the country illegally, despite the fact that they had not committed any crimes, in July.
- One of Penzone’s first steps in tearing down Arpaio’s legacy was to announce the closing of Tent City, which included the removal of the mandated pink underwear that had been in place since its inception.
- Former Republican attorney general Grant Woods, who served as chairman of a commission created by Penzone to investigate the prison, said there is no evidence that Tent City had helped reduce recidivism, as Arpaio claimed.
- The number of men and women detained at Tent City is estimated to be about 370 as of the time of writing.
- Because they are participating in a unique program that permits them to leave their tents and work during the day, they will stay there until October.
- An empty tower guarded a series of courtyards covered with gravel with a patchwork of cement slabs where some of the tents used to be, according to a recent visit in July.
- For deliberately breaching a federal court order, Arpaio risked up to six months in jail when he was to be sentenced on October 5.
- Fox News claimed that President Trump said: “I might do it soon quickly, maybe even this week.” “I’m genuinely considering it,” I say.
- It’s up to him to make amends.” The “taste of his own medicine,” as he puts it, will be served to him.
In a tiny tent under the sun, with pink boxers, pink shoes, and a pink towel, that’s what I’d like to see him doing.” Explore our Archive and join the conversation by following Guardian Cities onTwitter,Facebook, andInstagram.
AFTER 24 YEARS, TENT CITY IS OFFICIALLY CLOSING
In a show of defiance, the prisoners chanted, “Hitler! Hitler!” to the cameras on the outside. It was the 4th of February in 2009. In Arizona’s infamous jail, Tent City, more than 200 Latino men dressed in black and white striped uniforms and shackled to one another were being marched towards an outdoor unit reserved specifically for “illegal alien” prisoners. A few months earlier, the sheriff of Maricopa County, Joe Arpaio, had described this outdoor jail near downtown Phoenix, which he had built as a “concentration camp,” in a speech to political supporters at his local Italian-American club.
- When questioned about the remark by the Guardian in July, Arpaio dismissed it as a joking matter.
- “I was still getting re-elected,” he explained.
- Tent City was located within a larger jail compound in an industrial area 10 minutes south of downtown Phoenix for more than two decades.
- After 2009, it will be able to accommodate up to 200 undocumented immigrants.
- So much so that Arpaio has been accused by the Justice Department of racial profiling Latinos on his patrols and depriving prisoners of basic human rights in his jails.
- Joe Arpaio, who proclaimed himself to be “America’s toughest sheriff,” demonstrating to the media detainees at the Tent City facility in 2009.
- Franklin/Associated Press It was never intended for the facility to be in operation for more than two decades.
Arpaio claimed that it only cost $80,000 to erect the structure, which was constructed from surplus military tents leftover from the Korean War.
In the summer, the dry Arizona heat may cause indoor temperatures to rise up to 54 degrees Celsius (130 degrees Fahrenheit).
Inmates were provided with pink underwear and shoes, and they were instructed to wrap pink damp towels over their necks to relieve the heat.
Since the early 1990s, Arpaio has branded himself as “America’s toughest sheriff,” focusing his efforts on the drug trade and criminal gangs.
It was a particularly polarizing undertaking, eliciting awe and adoration from certain members of the local community while generating vehement condemnation from those who considered it as a source of embarrassment.
Featured image courtesy of John Moore/Getty Images To demonstrate his commitment to the Tent City model of detention, Arpaio welcomed members of the media to accompany him when he delivered new cohorts of inmates to Tent City, as he did in 2009.
Arpaio justified his use of tents and razor wire in front of television cameras and journalists by claiming that the criminals inside – both Americans and foreigners convicted of minor offenses, most often drug use, shoplifting, and, in some cases, working with false documents – were “more adept at escaping.” Arpaio also claimed that the criminals inside were “more adept at escaping.” Jaime Valdez, 35, spent four months of 2012 in a separate outdoor facility for around 200 illegal immigrants, where he was detained without charge.
- For shock effect, Arpaio marketed this wing as a holding facility for “illegal aliens,” but in truth, it was a holding facility for anybody who was pending transfer to another law-enforcement agency.
- “We would approach them and they would ignore us.” He was sent to Tent City after being convicted of drunk driving.
- Wind and rain were able to enter via holes in the tents, soaking the bedding.
- Tent City’s final remains will be demolished in October, according to new sheriff Paul Penzone.
- Inmates were compelled to labor on chain gangs, which had been abandoned by the United States, with a few exceptions, in 1955.
- Other inmates were required to labor within the jail, and some were part of a furlough program – which is still in existence – that enabled them to go outside to work but return to Tent City to sleep.
- According to Tom Bearup, who served as chief executive officer of Arpaio’s department from 1988 to 1998, the tents quickly gained a poor reputation.
- “If there was a riot, there weren’t a lot of people around.” A incident occurred in 1996, during which several of the tents were set on fire by detainees in protest.
- Since the beginning, I’ve maintained the following position: ‘Our men and women fight for our nation and live in tents; why are you moaning when the condemned are doing their sentences in tents?’ This is what Arpaio told the Guardian.
- The blazing summer heat at the Tent City jail caused the color of an inmate’s sandal to fade from pink to brown.
According to Michael Manning, a litigation attorney and one of Arpaio’s most vocal detractors, Tent City was overcrowded at times, creating a “horrendously hazardous situation.” “He got away with it because people were able to overlook the bigotry that was entrenched in his speech,” Manning continues.
- Over the course of 15 years, Manning has been successful in more than a dozen claims involving maltreatment and wrongful death in Arpaio’s facilities in Maricopa County.
- Crenshaw died in 2003 as a result of difficulties that developed while he was being imprisoned in another jail.
- The family turned down a $1 million settlement and instead proceeded to trial, where they were defeated.
- Concerns have been raised regarding understaffing, and in a 2003 letter, the county’s risk-management department told Arpaio that unless circumstances improved, he would be liable for punitive damages in future lawsuits brought by mistreated prisoners.
Featured image courtesy of John Moore/Getty Images Mary Rose Wilcox, a former Democratic supervisor for 21 years to the Maricopa County board, a five-member governing body that monitors the sheriff’s budget, says, “People knew it was barbaric, but my Republican colleagues were so terrified of the sheriff that they let him get away with it.” The jail, on the other hand, remained operational.
- Tourists and members of the public were also invited.
- In 2016, Arpaio’s political career began to come apart.
- Most recently and most damningly, a federal judge in July found the former sheriff guilty of breaching a 2011 order to stop holding immigrants during traffic patrols who he suspected of being in the country illegally, despite the fact that they had not committed any crimes.
- To begin removing Arpaio’s legacy, Penzone announced the closing of Tent City, as well as the abolition of the necessary pink underwear.
- Former Republican Attorney General Grant Woods, who served as chairman of a commission created by Penzone to examine the prison, said there is no evidence that Tent City had helped reduce recidivism, as Arpaio claimed.
- Tent City is still holding around 370 men and women at the time of this writing.
- Because they are participating in a unique program that permits them to leave their tents to work during the day, they will remain there until October.
- An empty tower guarded a group of courtyards covered with gravel with a patchwork of cement slabs where some of the tents used to stand when I visited in July.
- For deliberately breaching a federal court order, Arpaio faced up to six months in jail when he was scheduled to be sentenced on October 5.
According to Fox News, President Trump said, “I might do it straight immediately, maybe early this week.” “I’m definitely considering it.” “A tremendous American patriot,” he said, who had “done a great deal in the battle against illegal immigration.” Immigrants, on the other hand, such as Valdez, would want to see the sheriff put behind bars.
“He’s going to get a taste of his own medicine,” he predicts. In a tiny tent beneath the sun, with pink boxers, pink shoes, and a pink towel, that’s what I’d want to see.” Follow Guardian Cities on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram to participate in the conversation, and check out our Archive.
Tent City Jail Is Coming Down
(Photo courtesy of Jimmy Jenkins of KJZZ.) The Tent City Jail is being demolished by construction workers. (Photo courtesy of Jimmy Jenkins of KJZZ.) The Tent City Jail is being demolished by construction workers. (Photo courtesy of Jimmy Jenkins of KJZZ.) At the last year, more over half of the convicts detained in Tent City have been transferred to other facilities. Sheriff Paul Penzone of Maricopa County made a public commitment to shutter Tent City Jail earlier in the year. During the day on Wednesday, the tents were stripped of their green canvas covers and their metal skeletons were removed from their frames.
Determining what to do with the area is still up in the air for Sheriff Paul Penzone.
An independent private business may pay the development of a new, climate-controlled facility, according to him.
In contrast, Penzone has characterized the jail as “expensive and inefficient.” “Take those who are jailed and put them in a position to limit their conduct so that when they return to the main population of our community, they become productive,” Penzone said of his administration’s approach to imprisonment.
The agency is still attempting to resolve the issue of their living quarters.
The Tent City Jail was built in 1993 to alleviate congestion in the city jail.
New sheriff in town to close Joe Arpaio’s outdoor Tent City jail, of pink underwear fame
Featured image courtesy of Jimmy Jenkins / KJZZ The Tent City Jail is being demolished. Featured image courtesy of Jimmy Jenkins / KJZZ The Tent City Jail is being demolished. Featured image courtesy of Jimmy Jenkins / KJZZ At the last year, more over half of the convicts imprisoned in Tent City have been transferred to other prisons. Tent City Jail in Maricopa County, Arizona, is set to shut, according to Sheriff Paul Penzone. During the day on Wednesday, the tents’ green canvas covers were removed, and their metal skeletons were demolished.
- In the meanwhile, Sheriff Paul Penzone has not made a decision on what to do with the property.
- An independent commercial firm might pay the development of a new, climate-controlled facility, he proposed.
- Nevertheless, Penzone has criticized the jail for being both expensive and ineffective.
- At this time, there are around 300 convicts on work furlough who are camped out in tents on MCSO property each night.
- A small number of correctional officers stationed in Tent City are still on duty to watch the work furlough population, but the majority of them have been relocated to other facilities.
A temporary jail facility was built in 1993 to alleviate congestion at the main jail facility. In order to keep the jail running, the county has to spend over $9 million a year.
‘That circus ends’: New Arizona sheriff to close Arpaio’s Tent City jail complex
Greetings from Phoenix, Arizona — The new sheriff of metro Phoenix said on Tuesday that he will close a complex of detention tents that helped propel his predecessor, Joe Arpaio, to global prominence as a law enforcement figure in the United States and Canada. The decision by Sheriff Paul Penzone to shutter the Tent City facility, which has been in operation for 24 years, will destroy a critical portion of Arpaio’s political legacy. He is already phasing out Arpaio’s famous practice of requiring detainees to wear pink underwear, which was his signature practice.
Despite the compound’s reputation as a deplorable location to do time, Penzone claimed most convicts preferred the outdoor environment to the 6-by-8-foot interior cells and were instead permitted to travel freely about the complex and spend time in an adjacent air-conditioned room when possible.
The barbed-wire-encircled enclave was part of a larger effort by Arpaio to adopt tough-on-crime tactics in his facilities, including the prohibition of cigarettes, the formation of inmate chain gangs, and the outfitting of inmates in old-fashioned striped prison uniforms.
Critics claim that the facility was built as a means for Arpaio to get media attention and that it led to a culture of cruelty within his prisons.
As Woods put it, “the rest of the country believes that we are the type of people that would torture and humiliate inmates and place them in such awful conditions.” In an interview conducted shortly after the decision to close the facility was revealed, Arpaio stated that convicts considered the facility to be a harsh environment.
- “I didn’t do it for the sake of leaving a legacy,” said Arpaio, who was defeated by Penzone in November after serving six terms as sheriff.
- Penzone estimates that the shutdown will save the company $4.5 million per year in operating expenses.
- Hundreds of convicts staged a riot in Tent City in 1996, resulting in the death of one guard.
- A total of eight cops were hurt.
- Tent City was also a recurring theme in Arpaio’s campaign speeches.
- It was his idea to place a thermometer in Tent City to demonstrate to reporters that he wasn’t exaggerating about the heat, he claimed.
- When you go higher and hit the canvas, you gain about 20 degrees,” Arpaio explained, drawing laughter from the audience when he explained that the ruse raised the temperature reading to 142 degrees.
- Despite Arpaio’s assurances that the facility was secure and well-run, Tent City was a frequent subject of criticism.
- According to one witness, an inmate hit Flanders with a piece of steel rebar that had been used to connect the tents to the ground.
- In a 2002 decision in the Flanders case, the Arizona Court of Appeals raised concerns about the security of the complex, noting that the flaps on the tents could be lifted easily and that inmates were free to roam in and out of the tents.
In addition, the court found that conflicts among inmates were widespread, and that inmates frequently obtained prohibited things such as cigarettes, lighters, pyrotechnics, narcotics, knives, and food from outsiders who threw them over the gates that surrounded Tent City, according to the court.
One of my sisters is suffering from early-onset Alzheimer’s. The second individual intends to accompany her on the excursion. Arkansas is preparing to put eight men to death in 11 days: Is it a case of justice or a “assembly line of death”?
Arizona’s Notorious “Tent City” Jail Where Inmates Wear Pink Underwear Is Being Shut Down
The new sheriff of Maricopa County, Arizona, said Tuesday that he will close the iconic “Tent City” jail, which has served as a lasting image of his predecessor, former Sheriff Joe Arpaio, and his tough-on-crime policies. In a news conference, Sheriff Paul Penzone announced that Tent City will be closed, predicting that it would take 45 to 60 days to demolish the tents and relocate convicts to the county’s five other correctional facilities. Aside from the chain gangs and high-profile immigration sweeps that helped make Arpaio a national figure, the image of convicts living in tents under the scorching Arizona heat helped him earn the nickname “America’s Toughest Sheriff” among his followers.
- In fact, some low-level criminals prefer the outdoor prison complex over other facilities in the county’s jail system, according to the sheriff’s office.
- It’s not tough on criminals, but it is on others “Penzone said himself.
- “What gives me the right to feel embarrassed by the tents?
- “It’s something I’m quite proud of.
- “I keep dogs in the jail,” he explained.
- Earlier this year, he stated that county jails would no longer fulfill federal requests to keep illegal immigrants over their release dates, marking a significant shift for an agency that had previously been keen to conduct high-profile immigration raids.
With a statement, Grant Woods, the head of a sheriff’s advisory council that assisted in the jail review, said: “The days of Arizona being a place where individuals are humiliated for the sake of a person’s self-aggrandizing are done.” In a statement released Tuesday, Puente Arizona, an immigrant rights organization that has long fought for the closure of the tent jail, praised Penzone’s decision.
As Carlos Garcia, the group’s head, put it, “the outdoor jail is a horrific scene of torture that the prior Sheriff referred to as his own ‘concentration camp.'” “Today, we owe a debt of gratitude to the survivors of Tent City for blowing the whistle on all of the Sheriff’s Office’s wrongdoing.” The Tent City Jail, which first opened its doors in 1993, was constructed in response to an influx of detainees in county jails at the time.
According to Penzone, the prison had a capacity of 1,700 convicts at its height.
As a result, county officials claim that the cost of housing each convict has nearly quadrupled since the jail’s establishment.
Deputies now assigned to Tent City will be transferred to one of the county’s other prisons, according to Penzone, which should result in a reduction in the department’s overtime expenditures. It is expected that the closure of Tent City will save the county around $4.5 million each year.
Ex-Sheriff Joe Arpaio Wants to Bring Back His Brutal Tent City
Criminal who has been convicted Joe Arpaio wants to revive the “tent city” in Maricopa County, which was photographed on May 3, 2010, in Phoenix. Photograph by Paul J. Richards/Getty Images He wants to reclaim his position as one of the most notoriously bigoted sheriffs in modern American history. In a statement released on Sunday, Joe Arpaio, who spent six terms as sheriff of Arizona’s Maricopa County before being ousted from the role in 2016, stated that he will seek reelection to the position in 2020.
In order to prevent Arpaio from being jailed, President Donald Trump granted him a controversial pardon.
For many white supremacists, Trump’s decision to grant clemency was a powerful signal of Trump’s making common cause with them, as Mark Joseph Stern noted at the time of Trump’s consideration of the pardon: Sheriff Joe Arpaio publicly worked to impose white nationalism in Maricopa County throughout his 24-year term as sheriff, which included a savage crackdown on the county’s Latino population.
- Arpaio has been found to have violated the United States Constitution on several occasions, but the sheriff has consistently refused to heed the court’s orders to rein him in.
- Following his pardon, Arpaio campaigned in the 2018 Republican Senate race in Arizona to try to replace Jeff Flake, who had stepped down from his position.
- When Arpaio made his official campaign announcement on Sunday, he pledged to bring back one of his most inhumane programs, threatening to reinstate the notorious “tent city” jail.
- Most terrifying of Arpaio’s practices, including as the widespread use of outdoor tent towns to hold migrants, have been mainstreamed by the Trump administration since his election in November 2016.
Eighteen years before New York Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez was embroiled in controversy after claiming that President Donald Trump’s tent detention facilities for migrants were “concentration camps,” Arpaio boasted that his own tent city jail facility for “illegals” was a “concentration camp” in effect.
- According to reports, the temperature inside the tents might exceed 145 degrees.
- He claimed to be looking into President Barack Obama’s birth certificate, and he stated as late as last year that there was “no question” it was a “fake” certificate.
- The county prisons of New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, and Houston combined were sued more than five times as frequently as his jail was sued between 2004 and 2008 (see chart below).
- Because of the violence of individuals in his office, the families of detainees who died as a result of his administration’s actions received multimillion-dollar judgments.
The cost of Arpaio’s war on the Hispanic population of Maricopa County has been enormous: tens of millions of dollars in court settlements and legal fees, as well as the failure to bring hundreds of sexual assault cases, including at least 32 cases of child abuse, to a conclusion while the war was still going on.
- Meanwhile, at least seven children have died in immigration detention in the last year, following a ten-year stretch in which no such deaths happened.
- Although federal employees do not brag about their working circumstances in the same way that Arpaio did, President Donald Trump has professed respect for the sheriff’s attitude.
- However, even with the support of President Barack Obama, Arpaio will have a difficult time regaining control of the position.
- Although it is uncertain if Arpaio will receive a presidential endorsement, his demeaning methods have undoubtedly served as an inspiration to the president and the rest of his cabinet.
When Arpaio publicly backed Trump’s presidential candidacy in January 2016, he stated, “Everything I believe in, he’s doing, and he’s going to do it when he becomes president,” he put it best.
Why Two Decades of Tent City Is Enough
— – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – Located in Phoenix, Arizona, Tent City is an open-air jail where more than 2,000 offenders are held in military tents that have been converted. The detainees, who are under the command of Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, are dressed in cartoonish black and white striped uniforms with matching pink undergarments. With temperatures reaching 125 degrees in the summer, the hot prison serves as a focal point of the Arpaio mythology, and it will commemorate its 20th anniversary this August.
“Tent city is without a doubt the finest concept that ANY sheriff, anywhere, has ever thought of.
“According to a commenter on a recent Facebook photo of the facility’s outside.
Tours of the jail are available on a regular basis (business casual attire is recommended, according to the website), and the sheriff commemorates the facility’s 10th anniversary every year.
For example, the pink underwear is purportedly chosen because it is less likely to be stolen by fleeing convicts than the other colors.
In addition, there’s the food, which is worth between 15 and 40 cents every meal.
Arpaio claims that it is the most cost-effective jail in the country.
For example, during a heat wave in July 2003, the temperature inside the tents reached 138 degrees, prompting the sheriff to let those detained to strip down to their pink underwear.
The heat, on the other hand, does not bother Arpaio, who has frequently mentioned the conditions that military soldiers are forced to undergo in their lines of duty.
“They didn’t commit any crimes, so shut your lips,” Arpaio reportedly stated.
The institution is a correctional facility.
“Dangerous or predatory individuals are not placed there,” according to Maricopa County officials.
According to the law, jails are not supposed to be punitive, but Tent City clearly portrays itself as such.
In an email to Fusion published in October 2012, Arpaio clarified his current position.
“Punishment is only applicable after a conviction.” However, much about Tent City gives the impression that it is a place of retribution and punishment.
Several guards used racial slurs and punished inmates who couldn’t communicate in English, according to a 2011 report by the Department of Justice, which found “a pervasive culture of discriminatory bias against Latinos” in Maricopa jails.
Earlier this year, a federal judge ruled that the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office had engaged in systematic racial profiling against Latinos, and the sheriff was ordered to refrain from using Hispanic ancestry in law enforcement decisions going forward.
However, when you examine the situation more closely, the problem becomes more apparent.
The fact is that Tent City in particular is a jail, and you may be there because you were wrongfully accused of a crime you did not commit.
Making a place like that into your own personal “concentration camp,” as Arpaio has done (in his words), is more about self-promotion than it is about anything having to do with criminal justice or law enforcement.
“I think I could get elected in my pink underwear,” the sheriff declared. “I’ve done it at least five times now.”