Arizona DUI Offenders Spend Hot Summer in Tent City

Posted on Jul 25, 2011
Tent City is suffering in the summer heat, and authorities claim that there is nothing they can do about it. On a 118-degree day recently, temperatures inside the tents could be measured at 145 degrees. Some prisoners reported that their fans needed to be repaired and that it was hot enough to melt their shoes. Maricopa County Sherriff Joe Arpaio said, "What am I going to do, take them out of jail because it's too hot? Our men and women are working out here in this heat, too. Does anyone feel sorry for them?"

For the first time this year, 6-ounce cups of ice were distributed to inmates. Arpaio stated that he does not know when he will do this again, and some inmates said that one small cup of ice was not going to do much to help.

Tent City was set up by Arpaio in 1993 as an extension of the Maricopa County Jail. It is intended for non-violent offenders, including those arrested for DUI. In 2003, Arpaio responded to complaints about the extremely high temperatures by saying: "It's 120 degrees in Iraq and the soldiers are living in tents, have to wear full body armor, and they didn't commit any crimes, so shut your mouths." Some have argued that this statement isn't much of an argument, as the soldiers' tents are air-conditioned.

If you or a loved one is awaiting trial or serving time in Tent City for a non-violent offense in Arizona, contact a qualified Phoenix criminal defense lawyer who can explain your rights and options.

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