Maricopa County’s Tent City Turns 18; Arpaio Celebrates

Posted on Aug 17, 2011
Maricopa County Sherriff Joe Arpaio will be celebrating Tent City's 18th year this month, and many speculate that the detention facility will be what the controversial figure will ultimately be remembered for in Arizona's history. Tent City is an outdoor extension of the county's jail that houses offenders who have been sentenced to less than a year in jail and are considered minimum to medium security risks. It has recently come under fire for the summer conditions of the camp, which have included 145-degree temperatures in the tents and prisoners complaining of broken fans and melted shoes.

The facility has housed 500,000 criminals since it opened, and has experienced riots, inmate deaths, and legal action against it. Arpaio has stated publicly that he is not planning to shut down Tent City or move the offenders to a more comfortable environment during the summer season.

Others have spoken out against Tent City, claiming that the facility has not accomplished its goals. A Phoenix attorney involved in some of the legal challenges against the Maricopa County Sherriff has said that he's surprised the facility is still operating, and that it has failed to deliver anything but publicity for Arpaio. Regarding Arpaio and the conditions of Tent City, the attorney says, "There is no entity in our country where it's permitted to punish people by unnecessarily creating pain, and [Arpaio] goes out of his way to unnecessarily create pain and he relishes it. He advertises it. He boasts about it."

The Phoenix criminal defense lawyers with Curry, Pearson & Wooten can help you understand your rights after you've been charged with a Maricopa County crime. We offer a FREE, no-obligation legal consultation so that you can get the answers you need.

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